Unfortunately, diabetic retinopathy is one disease that you may not be aware of until it happens. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common eye disease among diabetics and it is also the leading cause of blindness in American adults. This disease occurs when blood vessels in the retina are damaged and usually occurs in both eyes. The most common symptom of diabetic retinopathy is slight changes in vision. Over time, the condition can worsen, causing greater vision loss. Wellish Vision Institute in Las Vegas is proud to have three convenient locations with multiple doctors to assist you with any eye condition.
There are four stages of diabetic retinopathy:
Stage 1 – Mild – Non-proliferative Retinopathy
At this stage, small blood vessels in the retina might experience small areas of balloon-like swelling called microaneurysms. Minor to no vision loss is noticeable.
Stage 2 – Moderate – Non-proliferative Retinopathy
As the disease progresses, some of the blood vessels that the retina depends on for nourishment are blocked. Vision loss has become apparent.
Stage 3 – Severe – Non-proliferative Retinopathy
In this stage, additional blood vessels become blocked, depriving the retina of blood supply. Once this occurs, the retina sends signals to grow new blood vessels.
Stage 4 – Proliferative Retinopathy
This is the most advanced stage of the disease. Additional blood vessels have grown to nourish the retina, but these new fragile blood vessels have grown along the retina and in the surface of the vitreous gel. This does not cause vision loss alone, but if these vessels leak, severe vision loss or even blindness can occur.
While this may seem like a frightening disease, the good news is there are multiple things you can be doing on a daily basis to try and prevent diabetic retinopathy. The main tips do not smoke, control your cholesterol levels, maintain a healthy diet, and be active for at least 20-30 minutes a day.
If you would like to know more about diabetic retinopathy or would like to schedule appointment at any of our offices please give us a call today. Don’t delay – early detection can prevent vision loss!