!Contact Icons

!Logo

Hartland Eye Care

!Address

11200 Highland Rd, Hartland, MI 48353 –

810-632-5240

Who Is Most at Risk for Diabetic Retinopathy?

September 1, 2022

Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common long-term complications of diabetes. It affects two-thirds of diabetics or 58 million Americans. And while not all diabetics are affected, it’s essential to be aware of all the symptoms and risk factors so you can be watchful for any changes that may take place in your eyes.

Read on as a Hartland, MI optometrist talks about diabetic retinopathy, who’s most at risk of getting it, and signs and symptoms to watch for.

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that occurs when diabetes damages the blood vessels in your retina. It occurs when high blood sugar levels damage the small blood vessels in your retina. These tiny blood vessels are responsible for carrying oxygen and nutrients to your eyes, so damage can lead to poor eye health.

Over time, these effects cause vision loss.

Diabetes damages the capillaries in the retina, causing them to leak fluid into the eye and swell. The swelling may lead to scar tissue formation. This scar tissue can block blood flow and cause blindness if left untreated.

Signs & Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that can lead to permanent vision loss if not treated. The signs and symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include:

  • Loss of central vision
  • Blood vessels growing on the surface of the retina
  • Fluid leaking from blood vessels in the eye (retinal edema)
  • Blurred vision, which may come and go or be present all the time 
  • Floaters in the field of vision 
  • Double vision, which may come and go or be present all the time
  • Swelling of the retina (retinal edema)  
  • Severe eye pain or pressure

Risk Factors

In the United States, diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in adults. Because of this, it’s important to know about the risk factors for diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy is caused by complications from diabetes that lead to changes in blood vessels in your retina. The most common risk factors to consider include:

  • Being over 40 years old
  • Having had diabetes for more than 10 years
  • Having high blood pressure (hypertension) or high cholesterol levels
  • A family history of diabetes or eye problems 
  • Heart disease 
  • High blood pressure or cholesterol levels 
  • Smoking 
  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

Long-Term Complications of Diabetic Retinopathy

There are a number of complications that can occur if you have diabetic retinopathy. Some of them can lead to serious vision loss and even complete blindness, so it’s important to get regular checkups with your eye doctor. 

If you have more questions or wish to schedule a consultation, please don’t hesitate to call our Hartland, MI optometry office anytime!

Woman with encircled eye

What Is the Neurolens Test? 

Did you know that long hours spent looking at digital devices can cause headaches, eye…
Read More
Mother and child

Should I Get My Child Tested for Dyslexia?

If you’re the parent of a child who reads at a significantly lower level than…
Read More
Group picture

Who Is Most at Risk for Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common long-term complications of diabetes. It affects two-thirds…
Read More
1 2 3

BOOK AN APPOINTMENT