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Diabetic Retinopathy

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What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when high blood sugar levels cause damage to blood vessels in the retina. As a result, these tiny blood vessels begin to swell and leak fluid and blood. They can also close off completely, not allowing blood to flow through. As the disease progresses, abnormal blood vessels begin to grow on the retina. Diabetic retinopathy can cause vision loss.

If you have diabetes, you may already be aware of how this autoimmune disease can affect the rest of your body. Diabetics are susceptible to many different conditions and diseases. Your eyes can be greatly affected by uncontrolled diabetes. One common disease diabetics often deal with is called diabetic retinopathy.

Stages of Diabetic Retinopathy

There are two main stages associated with diabetic retinopathy.

Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

The early stages of diabetic retinopathy are usually not noticeable. As the disease progresses, symptoms can include fluctuating vision, an increase in floaters (specks in the visual field), dark spots in vision, dull color vision and poor night vision. Eventually, vision loss can be noticed. If you experience any of these symptoms, be sure to contact your Portsmouth ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

Chart Illustrating a Healthy Eye Compared to One Experiencing Diabetic Retinopathy


In order to diagnose diabetic retinopathy, your Portsmouth eye doctor will dilate your eyes. After your eyes are fully dilated, they will use a special lens to look into your eye. They may also use a special type of dye to see your retina more clearly.


Once diagnosed, your NH eye doctor will determine which treatment method is best for you. These treatment methods include:

If you have been diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy or believe you may have it, contact Eyesight Ophthalmic Services in Portsmouth, Exeter or Somersworth today!

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