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Home » Your Eye Health » Eye Diseases » Diabetes and Eyesight » Signs and Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

Signs and Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes prohibits the body from properly using and storing sugar, leaving excessive amounts of sugar in the bloodstream which can cause damage to blood vessels and various parts of the body- including the eyes and visual system. Diabetic retinopathy is when this condition results in progressive damage to the retina at the back of the eye. The retina is a light-sensitive tissue that is essential for vision, so if left untreated, diabetic retinopathy will eventually cause blindness. Sadly, despite the fact that proper monitoring and treatment can successfully halt the progression of the diabetic eye disease, it is still the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults in North America.

Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy progressively damages the blood vessels of the retina to the point that they begin to leak blood and fluids. This leakage causes swelling in the retinal tissue which can impact your ability to focus causing vision loss and if left untreated, eventually will cause blindness. Retinopathy typically affects both eyes and often will have no symptoms in the early stages – making regular eye exams essential for anyone with diabetes. The longer an individual has had diabetes, the more likely it is that they will have some degree of retinopathy.

Symptoms include:

  • Blurred or cloudy vision
  • Seeing floaters or spots
  • Difficulty reading or seeing close objects
  • Double Vision
  • Poor Night Vision

Untreated diabetic retinopathy can also lead to a detached retina. This can happen if the disease has progressed to proliferative retinopathy in which new, fragile blood vessels grow in the retina and the vitreous at the back of the eye. The blood vessels can break, leaking fluid and causing the growth of scar tissue which can cause the retina to detach. If left untreated this can cause blindness as well.

Many of the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy, particular in the early stages of vision loss, can be reversed with proper treatment and control of blood sugar levels. Diabetics with or without retinopathy must see an eye doctor at least once a year for a comprehensive eye exam to monitor any changes and ensure that proper treatment is prescribed.

The Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC), the Texas Department of State Health Services, and Governor Greg Abott’s Executive Order GA-09 has mandated that all routine eye care be deferred until April 21 (subject to change) to help in order to slow the transmission of COVID-19 through our community.

What does this mean? If you have:

1. medical eye emergency

2. ran out of contact lenses and need to reorder

3. need to pick up an order you placed earlier

4. broke your glasses and need a repair or reorder

5. Running out of medications

Please text/call our office at 5124544401 or email us at info@visionsourceaustin.com.

We will do our utmost to help you with your vision needs.

For contact lens and eyeglass orders, we will offer curbside pickups (please call from your car when you arrive)

With sincerest wishes to you and your families for continued good health during this time, we thank you for your understanding and your continued support of our office. We remain at your service and look forward to welcoming you back to our office soon.

Sincerely

Dr Yu-Davis and staff

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Temporary reduced office hours:

Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Please text us at 512-454-4401 to arrange other times if you are unable to make it during those hours.