According to the American Diabetes Association, over 8% of the U.S. population have diabetes. A total of 18.8 million people are diagnosed, and 7 million are believed to be yet diagnosed. As those of us familiar with this condition are aware of, Diabetes is more than just inconvenient as it affects many other aspects of our lives as well. One of the many complications which may arise due to diabetes is known as diabetic retinopathy. Caused by damage to the blood vessels of the retina, diabetic retinopathy is one of 3 major issues caused by diabetes. The other two common diabetic eye diseases include cataracts or a clouding of the eye’s lens and glaucoma, an increase in fluid pressure inside the eye which leads to damage of the optic nerve.
It is said that diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in American adults today. Symptoms may be mild at first but over time, will usually affect both eyes. The stages of diabetic retinopathy are:
- Mild Nonproliferative Retinopathy
- Moderate Nonproliferative Retinopathy
- Severe Nonproliferative Retinopathy
- Proliferateive Retinopathy
Common symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy include:
- Seeing spots or floaters
- Blurred vision
- Dark or empty spots in the center of your vision
- Difficulty seeing well at night
If you suffer from diabetes, it is imperative that you have your vision checked regularly for this and other those other diseases associated with diabetes and your vision. Once diagnosed, and the earlier it is caught, then treatment may begin. One of the most common treatments associated with diabetic retinopathy is called Pan-Retinal Photocoagulation. Also called PRP or scatter laser treatment, this treatment destroys abnormal blood vessels which form in the retina. You can read more about the procedure here.
Your eyes are valuable, so making sure that they are well taken care of is important and Alpine Eye Care is here to help. If you would like more information about eye surgery, or are looking for an retinal specialist in Gaylord MI, contact us at 1.877.SEE.2020 or fill out our contact form online and start taking care of your vision. Alpine Eye Care is a qualified eye surgeon specializing in ophthalmology, surgery and diseases of the eye, and are located in Gaylord, Grayling and Cheboygan MI.