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Can Diabetic Retinopathy Cause Blindness if Left Untreated?

Clear vision makes it possible to participate in daily activities like reading and driving. If you have been diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, you may be concerned about losing your eyesight. So what is diabetic retinopathy? This condition occurs when high blood sugar levels from diabetes damage small blood vessels in the retina. If ignored for too long, diabetic retinopathy can lead to serious vision impairment and eventually blindness.

The good news is that when patients seek diabetic retinopathy treatment early on, they do not have to be concerned about vision loss. That is why it is so important to attend regular examinations with Nevada Eye Physicians. Our clinicians are familiar with diabetes and how it relates to your eye health. Schedule your eye assessment in Las Vegas, Mesquite, Boulder City, Henderson, and Pahrump, NV to learn more about diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy explained

As the name suggests, diabetic retinopathy is a complication of type 1 or type 2 diabetes. It is caused by weakened or damaged blood vessels in the back of the eye. Blood vessels can swell, leak fluid, or even bleed. While patients experience only mild vision loss at first, uncontrolled diabetes and consistently high blood sugar levels eventually lead to blindness. Diabetic retinopathy must be taken seriously by patients because any damage could be irreversible.

Diabetic retinopathy symptoms

It is possible to have diabetic retinopathy without knowing it at first. As damaged blood vessels become more severe, patients begin to notice significant changes in their vision. Common diabetic retinopathy symptoms include:

  • Blurred or distorted vision

  • An increase of floaters or flashes of light

  • Partial or total loss of vision

  • Pain in the eye

If you have diabetes and discover these symptoms for the first time, call Nevada Eye Physicians in Las Vegas. We can perform a comprehensive examination and provide you with a diagnosis right away.

Diabetes and eye health

Patients can slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy by controlling their diabetes. This includes taking your diabetes medication or insulin as prescribed by your doctor. Committing to healthy eating and engaging in regular exercise should also help. Many studies show how people who manage their high blood sugar levels through positive lifestyle changes are far less likely to experience vision problems or blindness. It is best to visit your primary care physician if you have questions about your diabetes.

Getting diabetic retinopathy treatment

If you have diabetes and are concerned about developing diabetic retinopathy, the best preventive measure is to attend regular eye examinations. This allows Nevada Eye Physicians to catch any issues before they become serious and offer helpful solutions as needed. Diabetic retinopathy treatment options could include corticosteroids to alleviate symptoms like inflammation. Laser technology can also target and burn damaged blood vessels, preventing further leaking.

Learn about diabetic retinopathy

Nevada Eye Physicians knows that the best diabetic retinopathy treatment is preventive. With proper diabetes management, you do not have to be worried about vision loss or blindness. Meet with an experienced eye doctor in Las Vegas, Mesquite, Boulder City, Henderson, and Pahrump, NV to schedule your initial assessment today. Learn about diabetic retinopathy symptoms and more in our conveniently located offices.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.