Understanding Diabetic Retinopathy: Who Are at Risk?

While it’s already a given that diabetic retinopathy happens in people with diabetes, there are other factors that contribute to its occurrence. Here at our Ocala eye care practice, Dr. Croley would like to emphasize the need for patients to know about the other factors that contribute to diabetic retinopathy. In addition, strict adherence to regular eye care exams is heavily promoted amongst diabetics at the Central Florida Eye Institute.

By and large, the following factors can increase your risk of diabetic retinopathy:

  • Elevated blood sugar levels such as in Types 1 and 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes (during pregnancy)
  • Elevated blood pressure levels – Higher than normal levels of blood pressure destroys the lining of blood vessels such as those in the eyes
  • Elevated blood lipid levels which can result to accumulation of too much protein despots in the retina
  • Pregnancy – A combination of hormonal shifts during pregnancy and an existing elevation of blood sugar levels is thought to contribute to diabetic retinopathy as well
  • Duration of diabetes – The longer you have diabetes, the greater your chances of suffering from vision loss brought about by diabetic retinopathy
  • Ethnicity – Although anyone could have diabetes and develop diabetic retinopathy, certain ethnic groups have been shown to have an increased risk in having the condition. These include Latinos, Americans, and Native Americans.

Diagnosing Diabetic Retinopathy

There is no single eye exam that can diagnose whether or not you have diabetic retinopathy. A diabetic eye exam here at our practice involves a comprehensive eye exam composed of several tests ranging from a simple visual acuity test to an ultrasound exam.

When diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed, Dr. Croley will monitor or treat the type of diabetic retinopathy you have. The treatment may vary from periodic exams to laser treatments, as well as medications that may stabilize or even improve vision.

Dr. Croley strongly recommends that diabetics of any age have a complete exam on a yearly basis even if they are a well controlled diabetic. Uncontrolled diabetics need to be seen more often.  Get in touch with us by calling (352) 237-8400 or by filling out this contact form to set up an appointment. We look forward to your visit!


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