Early Signs of Vision Loss From Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition stemming from diabetes. It affects the blood vessels in the retina, causing vision loss and blindness. If you have diabetes, you must undertake measures to avoid this condition. Controlling your diabetes and managing the early symptoms of diabetic retinopathy are the only effective ways of prevention.


How Do You Detect the Early Signs?


The most effective way of detecting vision loss from diabetic retinopathy is using a comprehensive eye exam. Comprehensive eye exams are more than visual screenings: they also evaluate the health of your eyes. They check your optic nerve, blood vessels, and retina. The results will inform the doctor if you have early signs of vision loss from diabetic retinopathy.


Early Signs of Vision Loss

Diabetic retinopathy causes the growth of new, weaker blood vessels. These vessels grow in the retina and cause complications. The complications lead to vision problems. If the doctor can detect and manage these signs early, it will prevent vision loss from diabetic retinopathy. Here are some of the early signs a doctor may note from a comprehensive eye exam.



Glaucoma is an eye condition by itself. However, it can also be an early sign of vision loss from diabetic retinopathy. The new blood vessels can grow in the front part of the eye. The growth interferes with the normal flow of fluid out of the eyes. It results in pressure buildup that damages the optic nerve and leads to glaucoma. As the pressure continues to build, it results in vision loss.


Vitreous Hemorrhage

The walls of the new blood vessels are not as thick as those of the normal blood vessels. Thus, they may bleed into the vitreous humor. The vitreous humor is a clear, gel-like substance filling the center of your eye. If there is no significant bleeding, it results in floaters or dark spots.


But in severe cases, it fills the vitreous cavity. It blocks your vision, leading to temporary blindness. The blood often clears within a few weeks or months, and your vision returns to its previous clarity. But if it does not clear and damages your retina, it can lead to vision loss.


Retinal Detachment


Retinal detachment from diabetic retinopathy is tractional. It happens when the abnormal blood vessels activate the growth of scar tissue. The scar tissue grows on the retinal surface and pulls on it, detaching it from its position.


As this happens, you will notice many floaters. These specks or dark spots will drift through your field of vision. You will also note flashes of light, blurry vision, and a gradual loss of side or peripheral vision.


Gradual Loss of Peripheral Vision


It results from retinal detachment, and it can result in blindness. To prevent this from happening, you need to manage your diabetes. You need to eat healthily and exercise. Make sure you monitor your sugar levels several times a day.


If you smoke, you need to quit. It increases your chances of diabetic complications. Also, pay attention to sudden vision changes. Detecting them may save you from blindness.


For more on early signs of vision loss from diabetic retinopathy, contact Shalimar Eye Care at our office in Shalimar, Florida. You can also call (850) 972-1600 today to schedule an appointment.