Diabetic Retinopathy: FAQ

Diabetic retinopathy, a disease that affects the eyes, is one of the most common complications for people with diabetes. It occurs in nearly one-third of people over the age of 40 who have diabetes and it's the top cause of adult-onset blindness in the United States. Left unchecked, diabetic retinopathy can have lasting effects on your vision and lead to permanent vision loss. Early detection allows our eye doctor the opportunity to preserve your vision before it is too late. If you are suffering from diabetic retinopathy in Fayetteville, NC, the ophthalmology professionals at Cape Fear Eye Associates, PA are ready to assist you.

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a disease that harms the tiny vessels that deliver blood to your retinas. It usually happens in two stages. The first is non-proliferative retinopathy, where weak areas on the vessels cause small bulges to develop. As the disease advances, it becomes proliferative retinopathy. Weak blood vessels start to grow, causing blood leaks that affect your vision.

What Are the Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy doesn't always cause symptoms, particularly in the first stages. Over time, you may notice changes in your vision, including:

  • Spots or lines that float across your field of view
  • Large areas that look dark or empty
  • Periodic, temporary vision loss
  • Blurred or hazy sight

These symptoms may be mild at first and increase in severity. In some patients, they come on suddenly. In other cases, diabetic retinopathy can cause total blindness.

Who Is at Risk for Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy can occur in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels increase your risk, as high blood sugar levels cause fluid buildup in the retinas. The disease is more prevalent in men and people who have lived with diabetes for longer.

How Can You Reduce the Risk of Diabetic Retinopathy?

Managing your diabetes is the most effective way to reduce your risk. To start, take all prescribed medications on schedule. Follow your doctor's instructions when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight and incorporating exercise into your routine. Regular eye exams are also important, as they help your eye doctor spot warning signs and prescribe treatment promptly.

Schedule an Appointment with Our Ophthalmology Professionals for Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment in Fayetteville, NC

Early detection is key to minimizing the effects of diabetic retinopathy. Call Cape Fear Eye Associates today at (910) 484-2284 for more information or to schedule an appointment with our eye doctor.

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