It is important to make healthy choices and take steps to manage your diabetes. Diabetes can damage the body’s normal circulation and cause problems with circulation to your heart, brain, eyes, kidneys and legs.
The leading cause of blindness in the US is diabetic retinopathy which is an eye condition that can cause vision loss and blindness in people who have diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy affects blood vessels in the retina (the light-sensitive layer of tissue in the back of your eye).
According to The National Eye Institute your risk increases the longer you have diabetes. Over time, more than half of people with diabetes will develop diabetic retinopathy. The good news is that you can lower the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy by controlling your diabetes.
In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, you may not have symptoms. This makes it essential for those with diabetes to have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once per year. Your eye doctor will check for any signs of damage to the retina and optic nerve, including leaking blood vessels, swelling of the retina and growth of new vessels. If your eye doctor detects significant diabetic retinal disease, they may refer you to Southeastern Retina Associates for treatment, and one of our retina specialists will evaluate you at one of our offices in Johnson City, Kingsport, Bristol, Abingdon, Knoxville, Maryville, Oak Ridge, Sevierville, Morristown, Harriman, Crossville, Athens, Chattanooga, Cleveland, Dalton, Hixson or Rome, GA.