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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.

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Please be advised that effective September 1st 2021, we will not be seeing any children (19 and younger), seniors (65 and older) as well as other types of OHIP-insured exams (such as diabetes) due to a province wide job action.  

To learn more about job action and find out how you can help please click here

We are sorry for the inconvenience and understand your frustration, however we ask that you continue to treat our staff respectfully during this time. 

-Heritage Optometric Clinic 

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