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COVID-19 UPDATE 05/6/2020

Dear Valued Patients,

We hope all of you are staying well! We are expanding the hours we are open to take care of your vision problems, eyewear/contact lens needs and urgencies! We are now open M-F 8 am—4 pm. If you have a vision need that needs to be addressed, give us a call and we will be happy to address your needs or concerns.

We are taking the greatest measures for proper safety protocols to ensure your safety and ours. We ask that you wear a protective mask and fill out as much paperwork as possible prior to arriving for your appointment. Forms will be available through our patient portal, our website, or you may pick up printed forms from our office. We also ask that you come by yourself to your appointment, or with as few people as possible.

Thank you for your support and understanding as we make all these changes at this time. We miss our patients and look forward to seeing you soon. Read about our safety protocols here.

Sincerely,

The Flagstaff Vision Team

Located on S Yale St, behind the McDonalds on Milton

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(928) 216-5800
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Home » Your Eye Health » Eye Diseases » Diabetes and Eyesight » Signs and Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

Signs and Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes prohibits the body from properly using and storing sugar, leaving excessive amounts of sugar in the bloodstream which can cause damage to blood vessels and various parts of the body- including the eyes and visual system. Diabetic retinopathy is when this condition results in progressive damage to the retina at the back of the eye. The retina is a light-sensitive tissue that is essential for vision, so if left untreated, diabetic retinopathy will eventually cause blindness. Sadly, despite the fact that proper monitoring and treatment can successfully halt the progression of the diabetic eye disease, it is still the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults in North America.

Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy progressively damages the blood vessels of the retina to the point that they begin to leak blood and fluids. This leakage causes swelling in the retinal tissue which can impact your ability to focus causing vision loss and if left untreated, eventually will cause blindness. Retinopathy typically affects both eyes and often will have no symptoms in the early stages – making regular eye exams essential for anyone with diabetes. The longer an individual has had diabetes, the more likely it is that they will have some degree of retinopathy.

Symptoms include:

  • Blurred or cloudy vision
  • Seeing floaters or spots
  • Difficulty reading or seeing close objects
  • Double Vision
  • Poor Night Vision

Untreated diabetic retinopathy can also lead to a detached retina. This can happen if the disease has progressed to proliferative retinopathy in which new, fragile blood vessels grow in the retina and the vitreous at the back of the eye. The blood vessels can break, leaking fluid and causing the growth of scar tissue which can cause the retina to detach. If left untreated this can cause blindness as well.

Many of the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy, particular in the early stages of vision loss, can be reversed with proper treatment and control of blood sugar levels. Diabetics with or without retinopathy must see an eye doctor at least once a year for a comprehensive eye exam to monitor any changes and ensure that proper treatment is prescribed.