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Questions about Diabetic Retinopathy

Proudly Serving San Diego, Chula Vista, El Centro & Nearby Areas of California

What is diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a condition common in people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in which high blood sugar blocks blood flow to the retina, resulting in an eventual loss of vision.

There are two types of diabetic retinopathy:

  • Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy – NPDR occurs when new blood vessels have not begun to form in the retina, but existing blood vessels have been blocked or weakened
  • Proliferative diabetic retinopathy – PDR occurs when new, abnormal blood vessels have begun to form in the retina in addition to a blockage of existing blood vessels

Can diabetic retinopathy be avoided?

The best way to avoid diabetic retinopathy is to control your blood sugar levels, but the longer you have had diabetes, the more at risk you are for this condition.

You can take steps to reduce your risk for diabetic retinopathy by refraining from smoking and keeping your cholesterol and blood pressure under control, but even with these steps, it is important that you visit California Retina Associates for yearly eye exams if you have diabetes.

What are the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy?

Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy may include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Vision fluctuations
  • Difficulties with color perception
  • Floaters or flashers
  • Dark spots in the visual field

Left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can result in a complete, irreversible loss of vision.

How is diabetic retinopathy treated?

Controlling you diabetes and avoiding risk factors is the best way to prevent diabetic retinopathy, but even these methods may ultimately prove ineffective. Once detected, our doctors can provide diabetic retinopathy treatment options including laser procedures to seal leaking blood vessels and prevent new vessels from growing, or, when necessary, a vitrectomy. The treatment best for you will be dependent on the stage at which your condition is detected.

Why choose California Retina Associates?

The eye doctors at California Retina Associates are nationally recognized experts in retinal care. Using state of the art technology and the most advanced diagnostic and treatment options, we are able to address even advanced stages (PDR) of this vision-threatening disorder. We are one of only a handful of practices that focuses on retinal disorders, enabling us to provide the most effective treatments available.

If you have been diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, please call 619-425-7755 or 760-352-7755, or contact California Retina Associates online to schedule a comprehensive evaluation at our San Diego or El Centro location.

California Retina Associates


Chula Vista Office
835 Third Avenue, Suite A
Chula Vista, CA 91911
619-425-7755

El Centro Office
1452 South La Brucherie, Suite A
El Centro, CA 92243
760-352-7755