Keep Your Eyes Healthy To Prevent Diabetic Eye Disease (Diabetic Retinopathy)

The most common eye disease among diabetics is diabetic retinopathy. This eye disease occurs when blood vessels in the retina are damaged. This usually occurs in both eyes. The most common symptom of diabetic retinopathy is slight changes in vision. Over time, the condition can worsen, causing greater vision loss. The best way to prevent diabetic retinopathy from developing is to have an annual dilated eye exam from Heart of Texas Eye Institue!

4 stages of diabetic retinopathy:

Stage 1 – Mild – Non-proliferative Retinopathy

At this stage, small blood vessels in the retina might experience small areas of balloon-like swelling called microaneurysms. Minor to no vision loss is noticeable.

Stage 2 – Moderate – Non-proliferative Retinopathy

As the disease progresses, some of the blood vessels that the retina depends on for nourishment are blocked. Vision loss has become apparent.

Stage 3 – Severe – Non-proliferative Retinopathy

In this stage, additional blood vessels become blocked, depriving the retina of blood supply. Once this occurs, the retina sends signals to grow new blood vessels.

Stage 4 – Proliferative Retinopathy

This is the most advanced stage of the disease. Additional blood vessels have grown to nourish the retina, but these new fragile blood vessels have grown along the retina and in the surface of the vitreous gel. This does not cause vision loss alone, but if these vessels leak, severe vision loss or even blindness can occur.

Tips to prevent diabetic retinopathy:
• Control blood glucose levels
• Don’t smoke
• Keep blood pressure stable
• Check cholesterol levels
• Eat a healthy diet
• Move for at least 30 minutes a day

If you would like to know more about diabetic retinopathy, or would like to schedule appointment with one of our Heart of Texas Eye Institute specialists, call 512-213-2220 Don’t delay – early detection can prevent vision loss!