Common Retinal Problems
- Diabetic Eye Disease
- Macular Degeneration
- Retinal Detachments
- Flashes & Floaters
People with diabetes can have an eye disease called diabetic retinopathy. This is when high blood sugar levels cause damage to blood vessels in the retina. These blood vessels can swell and leak. Or they can close, stopping blood from passing through. Sometimes abnormal new blood vessels grow on the retina. All of these changes can steal your vision.
What Causes Diabetic Retinopathy?
When blood sugar levels are too high for extended periods of time, it can damage capillaries (tiny blood vessels) that supply blood to the retina. Over time, these blood vessels begin to leak fluids and fats, causing edema (swelling). Eventually, these vessels can close off, called ischemia. These problems are signs of non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
As diabetic eye problems are left untreated, proliferative diabetic retinopathy can develop. Blocked blood vessels from ischemia can lead to the growth of new abnormal blood vessels on the retina (called neovascularization) which can damage the retina by causing wrinkling or retinal detachment. Neovascularization can even lead to glaucoma damage to the optic nerve that carries images from your eye to your brain.
Maintaining strict control of blood sugar and blood pressure, as well as having regular diabetic eye screenings by your ophthalmologist are keys to preventing diabetic retinopathy and vision loss. Controlling blood sugar and also help to prevent the development of cataracts, as diabetes is a risk factor for cataracts.
What Are Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy?
- Seeing an increase number of floaters
- Having blurry vision
- Having vision that changes sometimes from blurry to clear
- Seeing blank or dark areas in your field of vision
- Having poor night vision
- Noticing colors appear faded or washed out
- Loss of vision
Test Your Vision Using an Amsler Grid
AMD causes your vision to change over time. You may not notice these changes when they happen. But you need to catch vision changes as soon as possible. Treating them early can help slow or stop further loss of sight.
You should use an Amsler grid every day to monitor your vision. One is above for you to use.