What It Is

Retinopathy can be defined as a disease of the eye’s retina that causes loss of vision. There are several different types of this eye disease according to their causes, including: diabetic retinopathy, central serous retinopathy, and hypertensive retinopathy. Although each type may have different underlying causes, each results in damage to the retina which is a serious condition that could result in blindness if left untreated.

Diabetic retinopathy 

This type occurs as a result of poorly controlled diabetes. The increased sugar levels in the blood result in damage to the eye’s blood vessels. If left untreated these blood vessels will leak fluids, including blood, into the eyes.

Initially, diabetic retinopathy has no noticeable symptoms. As it worsens over time it is characterized by blurred vision, dark spots, floaters, and trouble with night vision.

Proliferative diabetic retinopathy

Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is the advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy in which symptoms appear and blood leaks into the eye.

Diabetic retinopathy can be slowed or prevented by managing your diabetes, getting regular exercise, and avoiding unhealthy habits like smoking. The eye condition can also be treated with various surgical procedures. It is important to visit your eye doctor regularly if you suffer from diabetes so that diabetic retinopathy can be detected early on.

Central serous retinopathy

Unlike diabetic retinopathy, central serous retinopathy is a bit more mysterious. It is thought to occur more often in perfectionists or high-strung people, leading experts to believe that stress is a cause of this retinopathy. This type occurs when there is a leak in the retinal pigment epithelium of the eye, a layer that is supposed to prevent liquid from leaking under the retina. This leak causes distorted or dim vision.

Central serous retinopathy will be monitored by your eye care professional, but is often left to clear up on its own unless it is a particularly bad leak that requires laser surgery. Most cases clear up within a month or two on their own. Even if you suspect that you have a central serous retinopathy that may not require treatment, it is important to see your eye care professional to determine whether your condition needs treatment or can clear up on its own.

Hypertensive retinopathy

Hypertensive retinopathy is caused by high blood pressure damaging the blood vessels within the retina and causing damage to the optic nerve. Symptoms do not arise until the condition has reached advanced stages, but include headaches with double vision, reduced vision, and burst blood vessels in the eye. The best treatment for this condition is simply to get blood pressure to a healthy place.

If you suspect that you may have some type of retinopathy, make an appointment with your eye care professional as soon as possible for an examination. Diagnosing a retinopathy as early as possible is extremely important to preserve vision. Keep in mind that this retinal disease can be present without any symptoms in its early stages. If you have a contributing condition such as diabetes it is necessary to be checked regularly by your eye doctor to catch retinopathy early on.