Diabetic Retinopathy General Information

Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in the United States.  The early stage is characterized by damaged blood vessels that allow leakage into the retina. Though patients may not notice a change in vision, the leakage could potentially be causing permanent damage to the retina. The phase described as proliferative retinopathy is characterized by new, abnormal blood vessel within the retina. These new vessels have a tendency to bleed.  This may lead to blurred vision, scarring and potentially detachment of the retina.

Diabetic retinopathy symptoms can include

  • Asymptomatic
  • Blurred vision
  • Extreme loss of vision


Treatment will depend on the severity of the disease but may include laser surgery or vitrectomy.

Macular Hole

Macular holes may be caused by eye injuries, certain eye disease and eye inflammation, but generally result from the normal aging process. The vitreous is firmly attached to the central portion of the retina (the macula.) As the vitreous shrinks, as it does with normal aging, it may pull away from the retina. As it moves, a hole can be formed at the macula.

Symptoms Can Include

  • Decreased central vision for both distance and reading activities
  • Distortion in central vision, a small defect in the central vision where small letters may disappear
  • Distorted "wavy" or blurred central vision
  • Central gray area or blind spot in more severe cases
  • Spontaneous, partial or total loss of sharp, central vision

Macular Hole Treatment

Macular hole surgery, or Vitrectomy surgery is needed to remove some or all the vitreous (thick transparent substance) from within the eye.

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