If you’re a diabetic, chances are your doctors has recommended that you have a yearly eye exam to check for diabetic retinopathy. But you might wonder exactly what diabetic retinopathy is, and why it’s so important to keep a close eye on the symptoms.

Diabetic Retinopathy refers to eye disease caused by changes in blood vessels in a diabetic patient’s retina. This can threaten your vision and lead to blindness. Symptoms of this condition can include blurred vision, seeing spots or floaters, difficulty seeing at night, and having a dark or empty spot in your field of vision.

If you’re at risk, monitoring your blood pressure and blood sugar very important. In this way, it is possible to prevent the disease and reduce complications. If you’re diagnosed, you can slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy. As with most chronic diseases, the best way to prevent complications is to prevent the disease itself.

If you are over age 65, EyeCare America, a nonprofit organization, may be able to help you afford the medical care associated with diabetic retinopathy or other chronic eye diseases. This program can help with the costs of prescription drugs and medical office visits to help manage your eye disease. Check out EyeCare America to determine your eligibility.

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Amanda helps patients improve their lives through the power of LASIK. A patient coordinator at Laser Eye Institute, Amanda assists patients through every step in their start-to-vision journey.