COMPLICATIONS OF DIABETIC RETINOPATHY
Diabetic retinopathy involves the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the retina. Complications can lead to serious vision problems including:
• VITREOUS HEMORRHAGE
The new blood vessels may bleed into the clear, jellylike substance that fills the center of your eye. If the amount of bleeding is small, you might see only a few dark spots (floaters). In more-severe cases, blood can fill the vitreous cavity and completely block your vision.
• RETINA DETACHMENT
The abnormal blood vessels associated with diabetic retinopathy stimulate the growth of scar tissue, which can pull the retina away from the back of the eye. This can cause spots floating in your vision, flashes of light or severe vision loss.
New blood vessels can grow in the front part of your eye (iris) and interfere with the normal flow of fluid out of the eye, causing pressure in the eye to build. This pressure can damage the nerve that carries images from your eye to your brain (optic nerve).
Diabetic retinopathy can lead to complete vision loss, especially if the condition is poorly managed.
Diabetes doesn’t necessarily lead to vision loss. Taking an active role in diabetes management can go a long way toward preventing complications. Regular eye exams, good control of your blood sugar and blood pressure, and early intervention for vision problems can help prevent severe vision loss.
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