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All About Diabetic Retinopathy

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Updated February 16, 2010

All About Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy

National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health
Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that sometimes develops in people with diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy causes damage to the retina, the light-sensitive layer of tissue located in the back of the eye. It is a serious complication of diabetes that can threaten sight.

Facts About Diabetic Retinopathy:

Eye disease associated with diabetes may develop in some people, sometimes causing blindness. The most common diabetic eye disease, diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in American adults. Diabetic retinopathy is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina.

Diabetic Retinopathy Risk Factors:

All people with diabetes are at risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. If you have diabetes, you should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once every year. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to develop diabetic retinopathy.

Testing for Diabetic Retinopathy:

Some people receive no warning signs of diabetic retinopathy, as there are often no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. Instead of waiting for symptoms to occur, be sure to schedule dilated eye exam at least once per year, as diabetic retinopathy can be detected during a comprehensive eye exam.

Living With Diabetic Retinopathy:

If you suffer from diabetic retinopathy, may need an eye exam more often than once per year. People with advanced stages of retinopathy can significantly reduce their risk of blindness with timely and appropriate treatment.
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