One of the most common diseases of the retina is diabetic retinopathy. It occurs in people with diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy can cause permanent loss of sight and is the leading cause of blindness among adults aged 25 to 55 in the United States.
Approximately 25% of diabetics have some form of this disease. Most people who have had Type I diabetes for many years have some retinopathy, however, if blood sugar levels have been well controlled it may not be severe. In Type II diabetes, the retinopathy may be discovered shortly after, or sometimes before, the diabetes is diagnosed.
Diabetic Retinopathy occurs when blood vessels which nourish the retina begin to malfunction. There are two types of diabetic retinopathy. Nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy causes small leaks that develop in the blood vessels causing fluid or blood to seep into the retina. The retina then becomes wet and swollen and cannot function properly. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy can also occur when the blood vessels close, stimulating the growth of new abnormal blood vessels. These abnormal blood vessels can cause bleeding and scar tissue that may result in a total loss of vision.
Symptoms in patients with early diabetic retinopathy, generally, go unnoticed, but as it progresses blurring, shadows, floaters, cobwebs, or missing areas of the vision may occur.
If you have diabetes, schedule an exam with Mid Florida Eye Center We have locations in Mount Dora, Leesburg, Wildwood, The Villages and Summerfield.