Diabetic Retinopathy is the leading cause of new blindness among Americans under the age of 65, but for most patients, having access to early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent vision loss.
If you suffer from diabetes and you would like to schedule an examination for the detection of diabetic retinopathy in Poughkeepsie or nearby areas, call Seeta Eye Centers at 845-454-1025 today.
What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy refers to blood vessel damage of the retina caused by complications of diabetes that can lead to significant vision loss and blindness. This condition tends to appear and progress in phases that can be readily observed during routine diabetic eye examinations. These phases include:
- Mild nonproliferative retinopathy – Though microaneurysms generally occur during this earliest stage, also referred to as background diabetic retinopathy, treatment may not be required without further progression or the accompaniment of diabetic macular edema.
- Moderate nonproliferative retinopathy – A more progressed condition, during this stage some blood vessels that nourish the retina will become blocked, but you may not experience any symptoms.
- Severe nonproliferative retinopathy – With increased progression, more blood vessels become blocked and deprive several areas of the retina with their blood supply. These areas of the retina send signals to the body to grow new blood vessels for nourishment. During this time, you may not notice any vision loss.
- Proliferative retinopathy - At this advanced stage, newly formed blood vessels are likely to break and hemorrhage to produce scarring and retinal detachment that can lead to severe vision loss and even blindness.
Because proliferative retinopathy can develop without symptoms, it’s important to maintain regular check-ups with your eye doctor.
Diabetic Retinopathy Diagnosis and Treatment
Anyone who suffers from type 1 or type 2 diabetes is at risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. Unfortunately, the longer you have diabetes, the more likely it is that you will suffer from this condition.
The good news is that with regular eye examinations, our experienced eye doctors can monitor the progression of this condition and treat it accordingly using laser photocoagulation when necessary. Whether or not you have symptoms, early detection and timely treatment are the best way to prevent vision loss associated with diabetic retinopathy.