Diabetic Retinopathy: A Vision Threat

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes, caused by high blood sugar levels damaging the back of the eye. Can cause blindness if not diagnosed and left untreated. According to the American Diabetes Association is the leading cause of preventable blindness. Early detection is key to maintaining eye health.

Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy:

  • Blurred vision
  • A sudden shower of black “floaters” (black or grey specks or strings) in your vision
  • Fluctuating vision
  • Dark or empty areas of vision

Treatments of diabetic retinopathy:

  • Injectable medications—These medications are injected in an in-office procedure into the middle of the eye (vitreous).
  • Laser Therapy— in-office procedure seems scary as well, the two options are:
    • Focal Laser Treatment: This treatment can stop or slow blood and fluid leakage in the eye.
    • Scatter Laser Treatment: This treatment can shrink abnormal blood vessels in the eye.
  • Vitrectomy—This procedure, performed in a surgery center or hospital, is conducted by making a tiny incision in your eye to remove blood from the middle of the eye, as well as scar tissue that's tugging on the retina. This is performed under local or general anesthesia.

There are options for care and treatment, but it is important to catch diabetic retinopathy early. Attending regular eye exams is crucial to maintaining eye health.


What is Retinopathy? | ADA (diabetes.org)