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All About Diabetic Retinopathy

Did you know that a diagnosis of diabetes puts you at risk for eye and vision damage? Diabetes is the primary cause of total vision loss in adults under 75 years old according to recent studies by the NIH. One of the most serious complications of diabetes is retinal damage caused by excessive pressure in the blood vessels of the eye. This is called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is a particularly serious complication of the disease and it is projected to affect 11 million people by 2030.

In its early stages, this condition is often asymptomatic. When the pressure in the blood vessels in the retina increases they start to leak causing retinal damage. This will result in eventual blindness if it is not treated.

If you have diabetes and you notice any sort of vision problems, such as fluctuations in eyesight, floaters, double vision, shadows or spots or any pain in your eye schedule a visit with an optometrist. Cataracts and glaucoma are also more common in individuals with diabetes than in the average population.

All diabetic eye diseases are more damaging when blood sugar levels are uncontrolled. Monitoring your sugar levels through diet, exercise and staying healthy and yearly eye exams is the best combination for keeping your eyes healthy.

If you or a loved one has diabetes, be sure you know the risks of diabetic eye disease and consult with your optometrist to discuss questions or concerns. In this case, knowledge really is the key to vision.


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