Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by an abnormally high sugar content in your blood. This condition develops when your body fails to produce an adequate amount of insulin or becomes unable to properly respond to insulin. Without treatment, this may result in various complications, like diabetic eye disease. In today’s post, your eye care center, EyeSite of The Villages, discusses this disease.

How Diabetic Retinopathy Develops

High sugar levels can thicken your blood and slow its flow through your body. This may cause limited nutrient and oxygen delivery different parts of your body, including your eyes, where it can inhibit various ocular functions, specifically the conversion of light rays into nerve signals. Without immediate treatment, you may experience vision irregularities.

Two Stages of Diabetic Retinopathy

The non-proliferative phase involves weakening and premature rupturing of your retinal blood vessels. According to your trusted optometrist, this may also cause fluid to leak into your macula, your retina’s central region. While you may not notice any symptoms at first, as the condition progresses you may eventually see floating dark spots across your visual field.

The proliferative phase is marked by an abnormal growth of blood vessels, which is your body’s attempt to compensate for the limited blood and nutrient supply. These excess blood vessels are fragile and may rupture, leading to the formation of blood clots in your eyes. You may experience night deficiency, blurry eyesight, and central vision limitations.

Our Recommended Management

It’s important that you follow your doctor’s prescribed diabetic medications, as well as recommended diet and lifestyle changes to prevent the disease’s progression. If the disease is affecting your eyesight significantly, we may provide anti-vascular endothelial growth factor or anti-inflammatory medications to stop the abnormal blood vessel growth. We may also recommend vitrectomy or laser surgery to control the bleeding in your eyes. We may then suggest wearing eyeglasses with stronger lens power for your improved visual acuity. If you have any further questions about diabetic eye disease, call us at (352) 674-3937.