The 4 Stages of Diabetic Retinopathy
Are you a diabetic wanting to learn more about the stages of diabetic retinopathy? We at Arvada Optometric Center in Arvada, CO, are here to help you with questions or for a diabetic eye exam.
What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Almost all diabetics are diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy within 20 years of their diabetes diagnosis. It is more treatable in the early stages and occurs because of vessel damage from high blood sugars. These vessels in the retina may swell, leak, or create a blockage.
Four Stages of Diabetic Retinopathy
The four stages are mild NPDR (non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy), moderate NPDR, severe NPDR, and proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
In this stage, there can be microaneurysms which are swellings in the blood vessels. There is no treatment needed, nor does it affect vision. Education and better blood sugar control are recommended, and preventative screenings are held via eye exams.
At this stage, there is a bit of damage to the blood vessels, and there may be blood or fluid leakage into the retina. There can be some loss of vision. Better blood sugar control and more evaluations are needed at this stage of diabetic retinopathy.
At this stage, there is more damage to the blood vessels, blocked vessels, blood and fluid leakage into the retina, and there is a greater loss of vision. This is the stage for eye specialists to intervene. Some vision loss may improve after treatment.
Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy
The last stage of diabetic retinopathy has the most progression and will threaten all vision. There is significant damage to the blood vessels, and there can be abnormal vessels that may result in blindness. This stage requires treatment and examination by a retina specialist.
How Do You Know if You Have Diabetic Retinopathy?
The key to finding blood vessel damage is through regular preventative screenings by way of a diabetic eye exam from your optometrist. By performing regular exams, we can find retinopathy early and have a greater chance of keeping vision loss to a minimum and treating the blood vessels before they have extensive damage.
Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment in Arvada, CO
Are you interested in receiving a diabetic eye exam from an optometrist who knows about diabetes and diabetic eye care? Arvada Optometric Center is here to help. Call our office at (303) 424-5282 for an appointment.