How to Spot the Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

You are currently viewing How to Spot the Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

As the most common cause of vision loss in adults over the age of 60, diabetic retinopathy is a prevalent eye condition. However, with prompt treatment, vision loss from diabetic retinopathy is almost entirely preventable. So, understanding how to spot the symptoms of the condition can help you preserve your vision for years to come. 

Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

Oftentimes, patients don’t experience symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. These symptoms may not appear until the disease is severe, making it crucial to attend yearly eye exams.

With that said, the most common symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include:

  • Floaters, which are black or gray spots or strings that drift across your vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Vision that fluctuates from blurry to clear
  • Dark or blank areas in your vision
  • Poor night vision
  • New color blindness or colors appearing faded
  • Difficulty reading or seeing objects far away

If you experience any of these symptoms, promptly schedule an appointment with your eye doctor. 

Diabetic Retinopathy Diagnosis

Diabetic retinopathy can be diagnosed by an eye doctor with an exam that examines the retina. This is best done by dilating the eye, so the retina can be completely examined.

The retina and particularly the macula (the part dedicated to your best, central, and color vision) is where uncontrolled diabetes does its damage first. It’s also where vision saving treatment is directed.

Preventing Diabetic Retinopathy

The most important aspect of diabetic retinopathy is diabetes management. Excellent blood sugar control helps reduce the risk of vision loss, but it takes about two years to do so. So, start managing your blood sugar early for vision prevention. Additionally, patients who know their hemoglobin A1c test results typically have better hemoglobin A1c results in the long term.

Other ways to prevent diabetic retinopathy include:

  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and regular physical activity
  • Managing your blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Quitting smoking and using tobacco
  • Paying close attention to your vision and noting any changes to it

Dr. Mahootchi at The Eye Clinic of Florida offers expert care for diabetic retinopathy. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!