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Home » Eye Care Services » Your Eye Health » Eye Diseases » Diabetes and Eyesight » Causes of Diabetic Retinopathy

Causes of Diabetic Retinopathy

What are the causes of diabetic retinopathy and long-term diabetes? Changes in blood-sugar levels is the main culprit. People suffering from diabetes generally develop diabetic retinopathy after at least ten years of having the disease. Once you are diagnosed with diabetes, it is essential to have an eye exam once a year or more.

In the early stage of diabetic retinopathy, called background or non-proliferative retinopathy, high blood sugar in the retina damages blood vessels, which bleed or leak fluid. This leaking or bleeding causes swelling in the retina, which forms deposits.

In the later stage of diabetic retinopathy, called proliferative retinopathy, new blood vessels begin to grow on the retinal. These new blood vessels may break, causing bleeding into the vitreous, which is the clear gelatinous matter that fills the inside of the eye. This breakage can cause serious vision difficulties. This form of diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness, and is therefore the more serious form of the disease.

It is not hard to greatly reduce your risk of diabetic retinopathy by following some simple steps and being aware of your overall health. The most important factor you can control is maintaining your blood sugar at a healthy level. Eating a healthy diet will help greatly in controlling blood sugar levels. A regular exercise regimen is also a great help. Finally, make sure to listen to your doctor’s instructions.

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To our Greenway Plaza patients,

We want you to know that our offices are here for you during these uncertain times.   Though the Greenway Plaza location is temporarily closed, as an essential service provider in our communities, we will continue to serve any of our patients at our Willowbrook and Deerbrook locations.  To ease the burden on the system, we would advise patients to avoid hospitals/urgent care for red-eye issues.  Patients unable to present for services in-person can call for assistance and we are available to take contact lens orders over the phone.  Our Greenway location will resume services as soon as possible, but we are happy to provide service at our Willowbrook and Deerbrook locations if assistance is needed sooner.

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