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Located at 1342 King St. E. Kitchener, Ontario N2G 2N7

Drs. Wilkinson, Runstedler, Cottreau & Barth

Located at 1342 King St. E.
Kitchener, Ontario N2G 2N7

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Home » Eye Care Services » Your Eye Health » Eye Diseases » Diabetes and Eyesight » Causes of Diabetic Retinopathy

Causes of Diabetic Retinopathy

What are the causes of diabetic retinopathy and long-term diabetes? Changes in blood-sugar levels is the main culprit. People suffering from diabetes generally develop diabetic retinopathy after at least ten years of having the disease. Once you are diagnosed with diabetes, it is essential to have an eye exam once a year or more.

In the early stage of diabetic retinopathy, called background or non-proliferative retinopathy, high blood sugar in the retina damages blood vessels, which bleed or leak fluid. This leaking or bleeding causes swelling in the retina, which forms deposits.

In the later stage of diabetic retinopathy, called proliferative retinopathy, new blood vessels begin to grow on the retinal. These new blood vessels may break, causing bleeding into the vitreous, which is the clear gelatinous matter that fills the inside of the eye. This breakage can cause serious vision difficulties. This form of diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness, and is therefore the more serious form of the disease.

It is not hard to greatly reduce your risk of diabetic retinopathy by following some simple steps and being aware of your overall health. The most important factor you can control is maintaining your blood sugar at a healthy level. Eating a healthy diet will help greatly in controlling blood sugar levels. A regular exercise regimen is also a great help. Finally, make sure to listen to your doctor’s instructions.

We remain open to welcome you for routine optometric care including eye exams, contact lens care, and eyeglass dispensing.

We are committed to protecting your health and safety by maintaining controlled entry, temperature screening, hand sanitizing stations throughout the office, and mandatory masks as well as dedicated entrance/exit points. Doctors and staff will wear face masks and other personal protective equipment, in addition to adopting rigorous disinfection procedures.

Appointments are required to enter the office, in order to limit the number of patients and allow for social distancing. To ensure your safety and that of our team, entrance will be denied to anyone who does not have a booked appointment or to anyone who fails the COVID screening questionnaire. Please call our office to confirm hours and to schedule an appointment.