Merrimack Eye Clinic
Home Services Vision Eye Conditions Vision Simulator Eyeglasses-Contact Lenses Patient Resource Contact Us

SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT

CALL 978-452-2100

Se Habla Espanol

1230 Bridge St., Rt. 38
Lowell, MA 01850
Tel 978-452-2100
Fax 978-446-0490
MAP & DIRECTIONS
Merrimack Eyewear
OFFICE HOURS
Mon 8:00AM-6:00 PM
Tues 8:00AM-7:00 PM
Wed 8:00AM-5:00 PM
Thu 8:00AM-5:00 PM
Fri 8:00 AM-5:00 PM
Sat 8:00 AM-1:00 PM
Diabetic Retinopathy
Definition Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in American adults. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina.
Causes All people with diabetes--both type 1 and type 2--are at risk. The longer someone has diabetes, the more likely he or she will get diabetic retinopathy. Between 40 to 45 percent of Americans diagnosed with diabetes have some stage of diabetic retinopathy.
Symptoms Often there are no symptoms in the early stages of the disease, nor is there any pain. Blurred vision may occur when the macula—the part of the retina that provides sharp central vision—swells from leaking fluid. This condition is called macular edema. If new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina, they can bleed into the eye and block vision.
Effect on Vision See our Vision Simulator page on how Diabetic Retinopathy can affect your vision.
Treatment During the first three stages of diabetic retinopathy, no treatment is needed, unless you have macular edema. To prevent progression of diabetic retinopathy, people with diabetes should control their levels of blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol.

Proliferative retinopathy is treated with laser surgery. This procedure is called scatter laser treatment. Scatter laser treatment helps to shrink the abnormal blood vessels. 

If the bleeding is severe, you may need a surgical procedure called a vitrectomy. During a vitrectomy, blood is removed from the center of your eye.

More information Feel free to download some materials from our Patient Resource page.