Diabetic retinopathy is the most common complication associated with diabetes and is a leading cause of blindness. High blood sugar levels can cause damage to the tiny blood vessels inside the retina. Damage to the blood vessels causes fluids to leak into the retina and obstruct blood flow, both of which will damage your vision. The retina is the part of the eye that senses light and helps send images to the brain. Damage to the retina, diabetic retinopathy, can ultimately cause loss of vision.
All people with diabetes, both type 1 and type 2, are at risk for diabetic retinopathy. This makes it crucial for all diabetics to have a comprehensive eye exam annually. Between 40 to 45 percent of Americans diagnosed with diabetes have some stage of diabetic retinopathy. In addition to retinopathy, diabetics are at greater risk for glaucoma and cataracts. Patients who are able to effectively control their blood sugar reduce their chance of having diabetic retinopathy.
A comprehensive diabetic eye exam includes dilation. It is very important to notice any changes in your vision. If vision becomes blurry, spotty, or hazy, it is vital to contact your eye doctor. Dr. Bentz, Dr. Ball, and Dr. George perform diabetic eye exams and the Bentz Eye Center is equipped with the latest technology to diagnose and manage diabetic retinopathy.