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How Can Retinopathy Blindness Be Prevented?

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease that affects people with diabetes. It occurs due to retina blood vessel damage at the back of the eye. Retinopathy may not exhibit symptoms in the early stages, and patients may only experience mild vision issues. 


The disease can affect any patient with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The longer individuals have diabetes, the more likely they are to develop it. Here is more information on how to prevent retinopathy blindness. 


About Diabetic Retinopathy


Retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness among adults. Damage to the retina blood vessels is usually due to uncontrolled blood sugar. It can cause eye floaters, blurred vision, and difficulty identifying colors. Without treatment, it can lead to vision loss.  


Early detection of the disease can help prevent complications. Most people do not have early symptoms, so it is essential to get annual dilated eye exams. Managing the symptoms and controlling diabetes is the best way to prevent retinopathy. 


Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy 


Retinopathy does not usually exhibit symptoms in the early stages. Symptoms usually become apparent when the condition has advanced. They include:


  • Blurry vision

  • Difficulty with night vision

  • Impaired color vision

  • Eye floaters or spots

  • An empty or dark area in the central vision

  • Streaks or patches block the vision

  • Sudden loss of sight


Preventing Retinopathy Blindness 


Controlling diabetes can prevent retinopathy blindness. Also, managing blood sugar levels and controlling blood pressure can help. Following the doctors’ instructions can help avoid complications from diabetes. Eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy body weight are also vital. 


Regular exercise, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption can help prevent the condition. People with diabetes should get annual comprehensive eye exams. Eye exams can help detect retinopathy in the early stages. 


Risk Factors of Retinopathy


People with diabetes face the risk of developing retinopathy. There is an increased risk of developing the condition in individuals with:


  • Uncontrolled blood sugar levels

  • High cholesterol levels

  • High blood pressure

  • A smoking habit

  • Pregnancy

  • Long-term diabetes


Diagnosing Retinopathy 


Retinopathy usually develops without noticeable vision changes, but eye specialists can detect signs of the condition. An ophthalmologist can diagnose the condition after conducting a dilated eye exam. During the exam, pupil dilation allows the specialist to view the inner eye. 


Images of the eye’s interior help detect abnormalities in the retina, blood vessels, and optic nerve. The test detects changes in eye pressure, the presence of new blood vessels, retinal detachment, scar tissue, and cataracts.


Diabetic retinopathy is relatively common among older adults with diabetes. The condition usually affects both eyes. Without treatment, retinopathy can lead to complications such as bleeding in the vitreous or vitreous hemorrhage. 


Blood blocks light from getting into the eye, causing vision loss. In some cases, retinopathy can result in a detached retina resulting from scar tissue. It can increase the risk of vision loss.


For more on the prevention of retinopathy blindness, call Volusia Eye Associates at (386) 427-4143  to reach our New Smyrna Beach or Edgewater, Florida office.,+415+N+Causeway,+New+Smyrna+Beach,+FL+32169&ludocid=8187326901652864243#lrd=0x88e72942de87c211:0x719f3a705104bcf3,3