Diabetic Retinopathy Symptoms & Treatment
What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?
How Does it Affect Your Eyes?
Types of Diabetic Retinopathy
Background or Nonproliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (NPDR)
Symptoms of NDPR
- Microaneurysms: Small bulges in blood vessels of the retina that often leak fluid.
- Retinal hemorrhages: Tiny spots of blood that leak into the retina.
- Hard exudates: Deposits of cholesterol or other fats from the blood that have leaked into the retina.
- Macular edema: Swelling or thickening of the macula caused by fluid leaking from the retina’s blood vessels. The macula doesn’t function properly when it is swollen. Macular edema is the most common cause of vision loss in diabetes.
- Macular ischemia: Small blood vessels (capillaries) close. Your vision blurs because the macula no longer receives enough blood to work properly.
Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (PDR)
Symptoms of PDR
- Vitreous hemorrhage: Delicate new blood vessels bleed into the vitreous—the gel in the center of the eye—preventing light rays from reaching the retina. If the vitreous hemorrhage is small, you may see a few new, dark floaters. A very large hemorrhage might block out all vision, allowing you to perceive only light and dark. Vitreous hemorrhage alone does not cause permanent vision loss. When the blood clears, your vision may return to its former level unless the macula has been damaged.
- Traction retinal detachment: Scar tissue from neovascularization shrinks, causing the retina to wrinkle and pull from its normal position. Macular wrinkling can distort your vision. More severe vision loss can occur if the macula or large areas of the retina are detached.
- Neovascular glaucoma: If a number of retinal vessels are closed, neovascularization can occur in the iris (the colored part of the eye). In this condition, the new blood vessels may block the normal flow of fluid out of the eye. Pressure builds up in the eye, a particularly severe condition that causes damage to the optic nerve.
Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment
Additional Retina Services
A healthy, intact retina is key to clear vision. Unfortunately, many people suffer from retinal diseases and don’t even realize it. Our ophthalmologist at Rock Hill Eye Center will examine your eyes and watch for any signs of these problems.
Age Related Degeneration
Macular degeneration is a breakdown of the part of your retina that controls your central vision. The most common cause of this retinal disease is aging. Learn about the two major types of macular degeneration and why seeing an ophthalmologist is so important.
Flashes and Floaters
Eye flashes and floaters can be distracting. But are they a sign of a more serious issue with your retinas? Our eye doctors can help rule out any more serious retinal diseases.
Retinal Tear / Detachment
Not all eye conditions require immediate treatment—but a torn or detached retina does. If you’ve suffered a blow to the eye, visit an ophthalmologist as quickly as possible for an exam. It could save your vision.
Plaquenil Eye Exams
We perform different tests to detect retinal damage due to Plaquenil medication.
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