Diabetic retinopathy is a serious complication that people with diabetes may experience. It occurs when the delicate network of blood vessels supplying the retina, the part of the eye responsible for vision, swells or leaks. Often, there are no noticeable symptoms at the start of the disease, so getting your eyes checked annually is important if you have diabetes.
As the disease progresses, symptoms can include blurred vision, dark or black spots in your visual field that increase over time due to bleeding at the back of the eye. All types of diabetes, whether type 1, type 2, or gestational, put you at risk for diabetic retinopathy, and the longer you've had the disease, the greater the risk. Working closely with your primary care physician and optometrist is critical to manage your blood sugar levels and catch any potential problems early to protect your vision. If you have diabetes or concerns about your eyesight, schedule an eye exam with Dr. Brian Cheatham promptly to receive optimal care and treatment to protect your vision.