Diabetic retinopathy is the primary cause of vision loss in patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. This progressive eye disease causes the blood vessels that supply your retina to become damaged, leaking blood and other deposits. In turn, this leaked fluid can cause retinal swelling, leading to vision problems and even blindness if left untreated.
In its early stages, diabetic retinopathy often has no noticeable symptoms. If you have diabetes, you should visit an experienced ophthalmologist every year to undergo a dilated eye examination. Call us today at (972) 736-9347 to schedule an exam with Dr. Brooks.
Risk Factors for Diabetic Retinopathy
Your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy goes up the longer you have had diabetes (type 1 or type 2), and the less you control your blood sugar levels.
You may also be at an increased risk of diabetic retinopathy if you:
- Are pregnant
- Have high blood pressure
- Use tobacco
- Have high cholesterol
Careful management of diabetes is important in order to minimize your risk of diabetic retinopathy.
Problems Caused by Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy can cause several serious vision complications, including:
- Glaucoma – The growth of new blood vessels during diabetic retinopathy can interfere with normal eye drainage, increasing your intraocular pressure.
- Retinal detachment – Abnormal blood vessels can result in scar tissue that pulls your retina away from the back of your eye, heightening your risk of retinal detachment.
- Vitreous hemorrhage – If blood vessels leak into the vitreous humor (the clear gel that fills the internal cavity of your eye), it can interfere with your vision.
If you have diabetes, Dr. Brooks can help you protect your eyes against the consequences of diabetic retinopathy and other related eye diseases. Please contact Brooks Eye Associates or call (972) 736-9347 to schedule an appointment. We serve patients in North Texas, including Plano, Frisco, and Dallas.