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Diabetic Retinopathy – Why Annual Eye Exams are Critical

POSTED ON August 21, 2009

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Annual eye exams are very important for everyone and they are especially important for those with diabetes to monitor for any visual signs of diabetic retinopathy. What is Diabetic Retinopathy? This is the end result of diabetic damage to the eye.  Diabetes can cause damage to blood vessels throughout the body, with blood vessels in the eye being especially vulnerable.  When the blood vessels in the retina become damaged, they leak and bleed and cause fluid to build up within the eye.

Annual eye exams are very important for everyone and they are especially important for those with diabetes to monitor for any visual signs of diabetic retinopathy.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
This is the end result of diabetic damage to the eye.  Diabetes can cause damage to blood vessels throughout the body, with blood vessels in the eye being especially vulnerable.  When the blood vessels in the retina become damaged, they leak and bleed and cause fluid to build up within the eye.

How Do I Know if I have Diabetic Retinopathy?
The early stages of Diabetic Retinopathy have very few symptoms.  As the condition gets worse, you may experience floaters, blurry vision or sudden loss of vision.  This is why annual eye examinations by your vision doctor are so important.  You may not even know you have early signs of this because you don’t feel any different.  It is only when you have the symptoms that you notice there is a problem and then it is much more difficult to treat.

How is Diabetic Retinopathy Treated?
When monitored and spotted by an eye care doctor, diabetic retinopathy can be treated with laser therapy at the early stages by a qualified vision doctor.  When this gets to the stage where symptoms are noticeable and it is much more advanced, surgical intervention is typically required.  Annual eye examinations for those with diabetes are a perfect example where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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