Furthermore, these new blood vessels can contribute to the increase of pressure in your eyes that can damage your optic nerve (the nerve that carries visual information from the eye to the brain). Should the newly-formed blood vessels grow in front of the eyes, disruption in the normal fluid flow may happen. This rained fluid will cause unnecessary pressure in the eyes, resulting in glaucoma.
Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is dangerous and may steal not just your peripheral vision, but also your central vision.
How Can You Tell if Diabetes is Affecting Your Eyes?
A person in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy may experience some signs and symptoms and think nothing of them because they are vague. They may find it difficult to see faraway objects and have trouble reading, but these signs may come and go.
If that is the case, then, how can you tell if diabetes is affecting your eyes? Unfortunately, you may only notice these when you are in the advanced stage of the retinopathy as the vast majority of patients who develop it have no symptoms until the very late stages of this condition.
The most common signs and symptoms include:
- The presence of floaters in your vision; they come in the form of black strings (cobwebs) or spots that float in your vision
- Blurred and fluctuating vision
- Dark areas in your vision
- Impaired color vision; you will notice that the colors seem “washed out” or faded
- Poor night vision
- Vision loss
How can you tell if diabetes is affecting your eyes? You have to pay close attention to the presence of floaters. This is because floaters often indicate that the blood vessels of the retina are bleeding and the blood already seeps through the vitreous. If there is little bleeding, you may see a few floaters. On the other hand, if the vessels bleed a lot (vitreous hemorrhage), then it might completely block your vision.
Even though there is a possibility that the floaters will clear on their own, do not ignore them. Without proper treatment, the bleeding may continue or reoccur, which will make the situation worse.
Before seeking treatment, the best first step is to seek professional help to confirm a diagnosis. Diabetic retinopathy is best diagnosed through a comprehensive dilated eye exam.
In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, the doctor may just monitor how your eyes are doing. This is often the case for mild and moderate non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy. The best course of action at this point is to consult your diabetes doctor or endocrinologist about blood-sugar management.