People living with diabetes face more potential challenges as a result of the condition than they might realize. One such challenge is diabetic retinopathy, a degenerative eye disease that affects the sight, potentially resulting in loss of vision or even blindness.
Although there is no cure for diabetic retinopathy, Fishman & Sheridan eyeCare Specialists wants you to know that prevention and treatment are possible. We believe that discussing diabetic eye complications and symptoms with our Leesburg, Eustis and Clermont eye care doctors will help you to proactively deal with the effects that diabetes can have on your eyes.
Understanding Diabetic Eye Complications
Diabetic retinopathy affects the eyes stealthily, so it is critical for those living with Type I or Type II diabetes to understand how the pre-existing medical condition takes hold.
A thin tissue lining the back of the eye, the retina functions much like film in a camera. It works to interpret light into images, thus providing us with vision. Unfortunately, diabetes can damage the tiny blood vessels of the retina. This potentially results in diminished blood circulation to the back of the eye. In the more progressed stage, fluid leaks out of the damaged blood vessels, filling the center of the retina. This leads to varying degrees of vision loss.
With the decrease of blood flow, there is also a lack of oxygen to the retina. More advanced stages can involve the growth of new blood vessels, the eye’s attempt to replace the dead or damaged ones. However, newly formed vessels are weak, meaning they are likely to break and bleed. This can result in quick and significant vision loss.
Symptoms of Diabetic Eye Complications
Frequently, diabetic retinopathy (retinal damage from diabetes) does NOT turn up any symptoms. It is possible to have absolutely no symptoms and have relatively advanced damage. This is why diabetics must see their eye doctor at least once a year for a diagnostic exam. To prevent diabetic eye complications, we also urge you to schedule an appointment with us in Leesburg, Eustis, or Clermont.
As a sign of more advanced diabetic retinopathy, patients may notice the following:
- Blurred vision, caused by swelling in the retina
- Difficulty reading or focusing close-up
- Changes in the retina, such as swelling (noted during an eye exam)
- Floaters, or the impression of looking through a spider web
Contact Us to Learn More about Diabetic Eye Complications
Our eye care staff can provide you with more information on diabetic eye complications and their treatment at our Leesburg, Eustis, and Clermont offices. If you would like to learn more about diabetic retinopathy, or to schedule a consultation at any of our Lake County, Florida offices, please contact Fishman & Sheridan eyeCare Specialists.