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Diabetic Retinopathy FAQs

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Diabetic Retinopathy: FAQ

Diabetes is a very serious disease. Uncontrolled diabetes can result in a number of complications that can affect many organs and parts of the body. One of these complications can affect your eyes. It is a condition called diabetic retinopathy.

Q: What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

A: This condition can develop in anyone with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. It causes damage to the blood vessels in the retina. If diabetic retinopathy goes untreated, it can result in blindness.

Q: Who Is At Risk For Diabetic Retinopathy?

A: Anyone who has type 1 or type 2 diabetes can develop diabetic retinopathy. However, there are risk factors that can increase your risk of developing this condition.

The length of time you have had diabetes: The longer you have diabetes, the higher your risk is of developing this condition.

Poor control of your diabetes: If you don't have proper control over your blood sugar levels, you are at greater risk of diabetic retinopathy.

High blood pressure

High cholesterol

Use of tobacco products

Being pregnant

Q: What Are the Symptoms Of Diabetic Retinopathy?

A: In the early stages, this condition often shows no symptoms. As the disease progresses, you could experience:

Blurry vision

Fluctuating vision


Impaired color vision

Dark areas in your vision

In the late stages, complete vision loss

Q: How Is Diabetic Retinopathy Diagnosed?

A: This condition can be diagnosed during a dilated eye exam. If you have diabetes, your eye doctor will want to see you often. During the exam, they will check for abnormal blood vessels in the retina. They will also look for new blood vessels, bleeding or fluid buildup in the vitreous, and abnormalities in your optic nerve.

Q: How is Diabetic Retinopathy Treated?

A: In the early stages, treatment may not be necessary. Your optometrist will monitor your condition closely to determine when treatment is needed. When they decide that your condition has advanced enough where treatment is warranted, there are a few treatment options.

Photocoagulation: This is a laser treatment that can slow or stop the blood and fluid that leaks in the eye.

Panretinal Photocoagulation, aka Scatter Laser Treatment: This treatment can shrink the abnormal blood vessels that have formed.

Vitrectomy: This is a surgical procedure where a small incision is made to remove blood from the vitreous.

Medication: Medication can be injected in the eye to stop new blood vessels from growing.

Call Riviera Opticare Today!

Diabetic retinopathy can result in very serious complications. This is why it is essential to make regular appointments with Riviera Opticare. Our doctors of optometry treat patients in Mesa and Scottsdale. Early intervention is vital in protection from permanent vision loss. If you need new glasses, we also have hundreds of designer frames in Scottsdale, making it simple to find the perfect frame to fit your face and style.