Diabetic retinopathy is the most common eye disease among diabetics. It is also the leading cause of blindness in American adults. This disease occurs when blood vessels in the retina are damaged and usually occurs in both eyes. The most common symptom of diabetic retinopathy is slight changes in vision. Over time, the condition can worsen, causing greater vision loss.
Know the facts about diabetic retinopathy:
- The most common eye disease among diabetics
- The leading cause of blindness in American adults
- Protect your vision with a yearly comprehensive dilated eye exam
4 stages of diabetic retinopathy:
Stage 1 – Mild – Non-proliferative Retinopathy
At this stage, small blood vessels in the retina might experience small areas of balloon-like swelling called microaneurysms. Minor to no vision loss is noticeable.
Stage 2 – Moderate – Non-proliferative Retinopathy
As the disease progresses, some of the blood vessels that the retina depends on for nourishment are blocked. Vision loss has become apparent.
Stage 3 – Severe – Non-proliferative Retinopathy
In this stage, additional blood vessels become blocked, depriving the retina of blood supply. Once this occurs, the retina sends signals to grow new blood vessels.
Stage 4 – Proliferative Retinopathy
This is the most advanced stage of the disease. Additional blood vessels have grown to nourish the retina, but these new fragile blood vessels have grown along the retina and in the surface of the vitreous gel. This does not cause vision loss alone, but if these vessels leak, severe vision loss or even blindness can occur.
Tips to prevent diabetic retinopathy:
- Control blood glucose levels
- Don’t smoke
- Keep blood pressure stable
- Check cholesterol levels
- Eat a healthy diet
- Move for at least 30 minutes a day
If you would like to know more about diabetic retinopathy, or would like to schedule appointment with one of our OCLI specialists, call 1.866.SEE.OCLI (1.866.733.6254). Don’t delay – early detection can prevent vision loss.