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Vaughan, Ontario
L4L 9E7 Canada

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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.

Please be advised that there is a province wide job action, and we are only seeing patients between the ages of 20-64.

If you are an OHIP covered patient (ages 0-19, >65, or those with Diabetes, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration) please DO NOT call the office to book until further notice.

If you are experiencing symptoms such as red eye, discharge, foreign body, sudden loss of vision, sudden onset of flashes/floater, painful eyes, please call Telehealth Ontario, your Family Physician, or in case of Ocular Emergency, visit your local Emergency Department.

For more information, please visit saveeyecare.ca

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