Individuals with diabetes are at risk for numerous health problems, not least of which are diabetic eye diseases. Diabetics are at much higher risk for cataracts and glaucoma, with the most common eye disease being diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic Retinopathy occurs when diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels in the retina. It can cause blind spots, blurring, and vision loss. Vision may change from day to day or even morning to evening. However, diabetic retinopathy often exhibits no early warning signs, so annual, comprehensive eye exams are critical to early detection.
There are four stages to diabetic retinopathy:
- mild, non proliferative
- moderate to severe, non proliferative
- macular edema
- proliferative retinopathy
Treatments for diabetic retinopathy are dependent on the stage of the disease. If you are already experiencing vision loss, contact your eye care provider to talk about low vision services and devices that may work for you.
For more information about diabetic retinopathy and its treatments, visit the National Eye Institute's website.