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Diabetic Retinopathy

What You Should Know About Diabetic Retinopathy Provided by a Naples, FL Ophthalmologist

If you have diabetes, especially if it is not well-controlled, you are at risk for an issue known as diabetic retinopathy. This condition affects your eyes and can eventually cause blindness. At Naples Eye Physicians, serving Naples, FL and the nearby region, we strongly encourage diabetic patients to receive routine screenings to detect diabetes-related eye problems early. We also believe you should understand the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy, so you can alert your eye doctor if you have symptoms. 

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General Information About Diabetic Retinopathy 

Diabetic retinopathy stems from damage to the blood vessels in the retina of your eye. This part is light-sensitive and needed to receive and convert the light that enters your eye into readable signals for your brain. 

As mentioned above, this eye problem occurs due to diabetes, either type I or type II. In the early form of this condition, your retina is not growing new blood vessels. Instead, the walls of the vessels in your retina are weakening. Small bulges may occur in the walls of the vessels. Sometimes, the smaller vessels will leak blood and other fluid. 

On the other hand, with the advanced form, new abnormal blood vessels may develop because the older ones close off. The new vessels may leak fluid. 

Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy 

In the early stages, you may not have any symptoms. However, once the condition progresses, you may notice you have floaters, which are dark strings or spots floating in your vision. Your vision may become blurry. You may also have fluctuating vision or problems with your color vision. Sometimes, empty or dark spots may arise. 

Unfortunately, you may start to have vision loss that may eventually turn to blindness. 

In most cases, diabetic retinopathy affects both of your eyes.  

Diagnosing Diabetic Retinopathy

Your eye doctor will have you complete a comprehensive vision exam to look for signs of vision deficits. Your practitioner will then conduct an eye health exam. 

Part of the test will include a dilated eye exam. Your physician will use eye drops to widen your pupils, so she or she can gain a better view of the components of your eye. During your dilation test, your practitioner will look for abnormal blood vessels as well as swelling or blood in your retina. He or she will also look for the development of new blood vessels as well as any scar tissue. Additionally, your doctor will look for retinal detachment and optic nerve abnormalities. You and your doctor will find a treatment for diabetic retinopathy ideal for you. 

It is important for you to seek out routine eye care if you have diabetes and to know the signs, so you can speak to your doctor. Fortunately, with treatment and monitoring, you can prevent a total loss of vision. 

Schedule an appointment with Naples Eye Physicians, serving Naples, FL and the general vicinity, if you have diabetes and may require treatment for diabetic retinopathy by calling us today at 239-262-6288.