Diabetic Retinopathy Symptoms

Woman picking cherries from a treeDiabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults 20 to 64 years of age. Blindness in diabetic patients is caused by an eye condition called diabetic retinopathy. It is a condition in the back of the eye that causes blood vessels to swell, leak or close off completely. With diabetic retinopathy, abnormal new blood vessels can also grow on the surface of the retina. Because diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness, early detection of the condition is vital.

Proper eye care and regular eye exams for diabetics are essential for early detection
of the leaky retinal blood vessels. Laser treatment can sometimes be used to treat the abnormal blood vessels; other times, surgery may be required to clear the eye of blood left by the disease.

Diabetics can live with diabetic retinopathy for a long time before noticing any changes in vision or symptoms. Typically, noticeable symptoms do not appear until significant damage to the eye has occurred.Diabetic retinopathy symptoms may include:

  • Blurred or distorted vision.
  • Difficulty reading.
  • Seeing double.
  • Floaters or spots in field of vision.
  • Appearance of a shadow or veil across field of vision.
  • Partial or total vision loss.
  • Pain or pressure in the eye.
  • Constant redness of the eye.

Diabetic retinopathy is a common eye disease and is one of the most frequent causes of retinal blindness in the world. Nearly 25 percent of all diabetics have some form of diabetic retinopathy and five percent have a severe case of the condition. The incidence of diabetic retinopathy is typically associated with how long one has been living with diabetes.

Because symptoms do not typically present until the condition is severe, if you are a diabetic, it is crucial that you maintain regular eye exams. Your doctor may be able to detect abnormal or leaky blood vessels caused by early stages of diabetic retinopathy. Early detection and treatment may save your vision. If you have diabetes, schedule a comprehensive eye exam with Key-Whitman today.

Do you have more questions about how diabetes may affect your eyesight? Ask us in the comments below, or on our Facebook Page!