If you have diabetes, it places you at risk for a variety of other health conditions, including issues that may compromise your vision. Diabetic retinopathy is a serious vision condition that can potentially result in severe or even permanent vision loss if not properly treated. Approximately 40-45% of diabetics develop this condition.
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when your elevated blood sugar levels damage your retinal blood vessels. If left untreated, this can eventually result in damage to the retina, leading to vision loss.
There are two stages of diabetic retinopathy:
- Nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy - This is the early stage of the disease, and it can occur at anytime once you've developed diabetes. Blood vessels in the back of the eye will begin to swell and bulge, leaking fluid into the retina. This often results in blurred vision.
- Proliferative diabetic retinopathy - This is the more advanced stage of the condition. During this stage, weakened retinal blood vessels close down and are replaced with new, unhealthy blood vessels which aren't able to properly feed the retina. The new blood vessels cause scar tissue to form on the surface of the retina. These scars may start to pull on the retina, causing it to tear and eventually become completely detached. This can result in serious vision loss and potentially blindness if left untreated.
Due to the serious nature of the disease, it's crucial that you go for eye exams at least once a year if you have diabetes. At Kirk Eye Center, we can ensure diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed in its earliest stages with these regular eye exams. This will give you the best possible chance of preventing blindness.
Please contact Kirk Eye Center using the form on this page or call 970-669-1107 today to schedule an eye exam. We serve patients in Loveland, Windsor, Fort Collins and the surrounding areas of Colorado.