November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month and California Retina Consultants wants to bring attention to this condition, which is now the leading cause of new cases of blindness in American Adults.
This diabetes complication is also known as Diabetic Retinopathy and is caused by damage to the blood vessels of the retina. If blood sugar is not well controlled, too much sugar in the blood leads to the blocking of blood vessels, cutting off the supply of blood. As a result, the eyes attempt to grow new vessels, but they do not develop properly and often leak, which in turn damages the retina. Most of the time, in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, symptoms usually go unnoticed. However, as the condition progresses, patients may experience symptoms such as blurred or fluctuating vision, floaters, and even vision loss. The key to preventing vision loss from diabetic retinopathy is to detect the condition early on. This is accomplished by having a dilated eye exam performed by your eye doctor at least once every year. Early findings your eye doctor might detect are small spots of blood in the retina, swelling or macular edema, and even vitreous hemorrhages or ruptured blood vessels in severe cases.
Diabetic Retinopathy often shows no early warning signs and can lead to vision loss if left undiagnosed. The absolute best way to prevent damage to the eyes or vision is by practicing good blood sugar control, exercising often, smoking cessation, and annual eye exams. Protect your vision by having a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year by a specialist at California Retina Consultants.