Diabetic Retinopathy: FAQs

About one in ten Americans suffer from diabetes. Diabetics must see an eye doctor at least once per year for an eye exam. High blood sugar increases the chances of getting glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy. Let’s take a look at some of the questions that we run into at Atlantic Eyecare in Virginia Beach regarding diabetic retinopathy.

What Causes Diabetic Retinopathy?

The retina is crucial to vision. It helps translate light into images. Diabetes causes high blood sugar, which damages or blocks the tiny blood vessels that help the retina work properly. High blood sugar can also damage blood vessels throughout the body.

Can Diabetic Retinopathy Cause Blindness?

The longer you put off treating your diabetic retinopathy, the more likely you are to go blind. Diabetic retinopathy also causes complications like neovascular glaucoma, which can lead to blindness.

What Factors Increase My Chances of Getting Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetics with high blood pressure and high cholesterol are more likely to develop diabetic retinopathy than diabetics with normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Other risk factors include being a smoker, being overweight, and getting cataract surgery. Talk to our optometrist about the risks of getting diabetic retinopathy if you have cataracts.

Can Pregnant Women Get Diabetic Retinopathy?

Pregnant women can get diabetic retinopathy in two situations. The first condition is that they are already diabetic. The second is women who develop gestational diabetes. In both cases, women should get their eyes checked by an eye doctor as soon as possible.

What are the Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy?

The symptoms of this condition include:

  • blurry vision
  • spotty vision or seeing floaters
  • areas where you cannot see
  • hazy vision
  • sudden problems seeing faraway objects
  • times when these symptoms keep coming and going

How Are You Tested for Diabetic Retinopathy?

Your eyes are dilated so the retina can be closely examined. Bring someone along to drive you home from your appointment if you are sensitive to having your eyes dilated.

Contact Our Eye Doctor in Virginia Beach, VA

If you have questions about diabetic retinopathy and live in or around Virginia Beach, contact Dr. Seim at Atlantic Eyecare. We will answer any questions that you may have and perform a comprehensive eye exam to look for diabetic retinopathy. Call our team today at (757) 340-7070 or reach us through our website by using our online contact form.


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8:45 am-5:15 pm


8:45 am-5:15 pm


8:45 am-5:15 pm


8:45 am-5:15 pm