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Diabetic Retinopathy

If you are diabetic, you are at risk of developing a progressive eye disease called diabetic retinopathy due to poorly controlled blood sugar. When you have an excess of sugar in your blood, the tiny blood vessels in the back of your eye (retina) can become blocked. This can lead to swelling of the blood vessels, closure of those vessels and leaks.

When your retina stops receiving the proper amount of blood supply, it will start to weaken and compensate by growing new blood vessels on the inside surface of the retina. While this sounds like a good situation, it isn’t. The new blood vessels are fragile and weak, prone to leaking fluids into your eye.

Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

As with many types of eye diseases, there aren’t always obvious symptoms that anything is wrong with your vision – especially in the early stages of disease. At Azul Vision, we recommend that diabetic patients have annual eye exams so we can monitor any changes taking place under the surface of your eyes.

As diabetic retinopathy progresses, you may start to experience:

  • Dark spots
  • Floaters / strings
  • Blurry vision
  • Vision loss

Diabetic Retinopathy Treatments

Treatments for diabetic retinopathy are aimed at slowing or stopping the progression of the disease. There is no real cure for diabetic retinopathy. After assessing your eye health, our doctors may recommend a treatment such as anti-VEGF medications, a vitrectomy or laser treatments to stop leaks and shrink abnormal blood vessels.

Anti-VEGF Medications

One way to treat diabetic retinopathy is through the injection of anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial grown factor) medications. These injections can lower the levels of VEGF to reduce the amount of abnormal blood vessels being created by your body.


During a vitrectomy, the vitreous gel inside your eye is removed so your doctor has access to the retina. After any problems with the retina have been treated, the hollow space in your eye will be filled with a gas bubble, silicone oil or a saline solution. To promote healing of your eye after a vitrectomy that incorporates a gas bubble, it will be necessary to maintain a body position that will keep the bubble in place. Learn more about face down recovery by clicking here . 

Your Best Defense: Healthy Living

The best way to reduce your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy is by living your best, healthiest life. This means choosing healthy foods over processed/fried/sugary ones, exercising regularly and stopping smoking. Most importantly for your eye health, have regular eye exams with our team at Azul Vision! 

Stay proactive with your eye health.

Schedule an Eye Exam today! 

Contact Azul Vision Today!