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Home » 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.

COVID-19 Update:  Following the directive from the Government of Ontario, Dr. Pachler’s Office will be closed until Monday, April 6th or until further notice as a precaution to help protect our patients, staff members and the community against the spread of COVID-19.  Should you experience an ocular emergency at this time, please request an e-assessment at www.PrismEyeInstitute.com for access or go directly to the nearest hospital emergency care centre.  Appointments that were scheduled between March 20th and April 6th inclusive have been canceled.  Please contact us to reschedule your appointment once the office re-opens.  In the event that the office is closed beyond April 6th, we will send another notice.  We thank you in advance for your understanding in this matter.  Stay Safe and Healthy!

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Thank and Stay Safe!

Dr. Pachler