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Home » Eye Care Services » Your Eye Health » Eye Diseases » Diabetes and Eyesight » Causes of Diabetic Retinopathy

Causes of Diabetic Retinopathy

What are the causes of diabetic retinopathy and long-term diabetes? Changes in blood-sugar levels is the main culprit. People suffering from diabetes generally develop diabetic retinopathy after at least ten years of having the disease. Once you are diagnosed with diabetes, it is essential to have an eye exam once a year or more.

In the early stage of diabetic retinopathy, called background or non-proliferative retinopathy, high blood sugar in the retina damages blood vessels, which bleed or leak fluid. This leaking or bleeding causes swelling in the retina, which forms deposits.

In the later stage of diabetic retinopathy, called proliferative retinopathy, new blood vessels begin to grow on the retinal. These new blood vessels may break, causing bleeding into the vitreous, which is the clear gelatinous matter that fills the inside of the eye. This breakage can cause serious vision difficulties. This form of diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness, and is therefore the more serious form of the disease.

It is not hard to greatly reduce your risk of diabetic retinopathy by following some simple steps and being aware of your overall health. The most important factor you can control is maintaining your blood sugar at a healthy level. Eating a healthy diet will help greatly in controlling blood sugar levels. A regular exercise regimen is also a great help. Finally, make sure to listen to your doctor’s instructions.

Our main focus is the safety and well-being of our patients and staff.

Please email us copies of your insurance card (front and back) and paperwork before your appointment to customerservice@elkrivereyeclinic.com

In addition to these safety measures please be aware of the following:

- We will also be taking temperatures at the door with touchless thermometers and will ask patients to reschedule if their temperature is above 100.4 degrees

- All patients should wear masks into the practice

-Please come alone and do not bring extra family members when possible

-We will have a limited number of people in our optical department at one time and may ask that you wait in your car while others try on frames

-We will be open M-F  8am - 5pm

Thank you for understanding,

The Elk River Eye Clinic Team

763.441.1055