One complication of diabetes is diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness that happens when diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels inside the retina. This damage leads to retinal swelling, bleeding or loss of oxygen. The only way to see these blood vessels is during a diabetic eye exam. It’s important to note that if there are changes to the retinal blood vessels, this same phenomenon is likely happening in every organ in the body.

The first sign of diabetic retinopathy is vision changes. However, diabetic retinopathy worsens over time, leading to permanent vision loss. The condition even affects those who are able to properly control their blood sugar.

Any type of diabetes, either type 1 or type 2, are at risk for diabetic retinopathy. For this reason, anyone with diabetes should get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least annually.

Pregnant women with diabetes or gestational diabetes are also at risk for diabetic retinopathy.  Therefore, any pregnant woman with diabetes should also schedule an eye exam as soon as they can.

Your ophthalmologist will determine if you have diabetic retinopathy. Early detection is critical to prevent vision loss. Your doctor can recommend a course of action and treatment to prevent the disease from progressing.

If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, contact Riverdale Ophthalmology today to make an appointment.