There are times in life when we may have loved being the center of attention. Usually, as we transition from childhood to adulthood, the comfort level that we have with all eyes being on us diminishes. For many adults, health conditions put them right at the center of it all. In the healthcare field, all patients are important. However, it may seem like certain individuals “get more attention.” This is because certain health conditions need to be put under the microscope of management. Diabetic retinopathy is one example.
Diabetic retinopathy is one of several secondary conditions that physicians worry about when a patient has diabetes. There are two types of diabetic retinopathy, each of which presents a risk of vision loss if the details of the diabetic condition are not properly managed. We understand how difficult this can be. Unregulated blood sugar can be enormously difficult to get control of. For patients with diabetes, we provide care that revolves around the potential risks of their primary condition.
We say there are two types of diabetic retinopathy, but it may be more precise to say there are two stages.
- The initial stage of retinopathy is called non-proliferative. This indicates that weakness has been identified in the blood vessels around the retina at the back of the eye. Very little, if any, fluid or blood is escaping these vessels, though.
- The more advanced stage of retinopathy is referred to as proliferative. It indicates that weakened blood vessels may be leaking fluid and blood into the retina. Additionally, in proliferative retinopathy, new blood vessels are forming, but they are fragile and also likely to bleed.
What Diabetic Retinopathy Means for the Macula
The tissue that sits around the retina is called the macula. When the blood vessels on the retina itself leak and bleed, that fluid can spread into the tissue of the macula, causing it to become swollen. Swelling in the macula referred to as macula edema can severely affect vision.
It may be possible to prevent the worsening or even the onset of diabetic retinopathy. Patients are encouraged to follow their doctor’s instructions on how to manage blood sugar levels through lifestyle habits. Additionally, early stages of diabetic retinopathy may be treated by your Ocala ophthalmologist, Dr. Croley. Call (352) 237-8400 to schedule a thorough consultation and exam for diabetic eye disease.