Chronically high blood sugar from diabetes is associated with damage to the tiny blood vessels in the retina, leading to diabetic retinopathy. The retina detects light and converts it to signals sent through the optic nerve to the brain. Diabetic retinopathy can cause blood vessels in the retina to leak fluid or hemorrhage (bleed), distorting vision. In its most advanced stage, new abnormal blood vessels proliferate (increase in number) on the surface of the retina, which can lead to scarring and cell loss in the retina.

The early stages of diabetic retinopathy usually have no symptoms. The disease often progresses unnoticed until it affects vision. Bleeding from abnormal retinal blood vessels can cause the appearance of “floating” spots. These spots sometimes clear on their own. But without prompt treatment, bleeding often recurs, increasing the risk of permanent vision loss. If swelling occurs, it can cause blurred vision.

Good blood sugar control has been proven to help maintain healthy retinas, avoiding the types of changes seen in the high resolution image above.

Our clinic is proud to be able to provide such modern imaging technology. Our Optos Daytona Retinal Imager is the best way to detect diabetic eye disease, as well as monitor any changes over time.

Vision lost to diabetic retinopathy is sometimes irreversible. However, early detection and treatment can reduce the risk of blindness by 95 percent. Because diabetic retinopathy often lacks early symptoms, people with diabetes should get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year.

For more information on diabetic retinopathy or to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to call us today at (863) 675-0761.

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