A leading cause of blindness, Diabetic Retinopathy is a condition, in which the delicate blood vessels of the retina becomes damaged by the effects of diabetes. Patients with type-1 or type-2 diabetes may develop diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is often asymptomatic during the early stages of the disease.  Only through routine eye exams can these changes be detected.  Risk factors for the development of diabetic retinopathy include, level of blood glucose control and duration of diabetic disease,.

There are two main classes of diabetic retinopathy:

  1. Non-proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy:

    In this phase of the disease process, the small blood vessels that supply the retina, swell and begin to leak blood, plasma, and proteins.

  2. Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy:

    This stage of diabetic retinopathy is characterized by the growth of new, abnormal, and very delicate blood vessels, called neovascularization.  These newly formed vessels can break easily and lead to hemorrhages, which cause sudden impairment or loss of vision.  These vessels may also grow into the gel-like substance of the eye called the vitreous.  This causes a pulling affect on the retina and may lead to retinal detachment.

    Another complication of diabetic retinopathy is macular edema, and may occur in either stage of the disease. Macular edema is swelling in the area of the retina, called the macula, which is responsible for our best vision.

    Early detection and continuous care are crucial in reducing the impact of diabetes on your vision. All diabetics should have periodic dilated eye exams. Natural VisionTM offers the latest in diagnostic, medical, and surgical techniques for the management and treatment of diabetic retinopathy.