The 4 Stages Of Diabetic Eye Disease

eye close up woman

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in American adults. In fact, African Americans with type 2 diabetes have a greater prevalence and severity of the disease than non-Hispanic whites.

Here are the four stages you should know about:

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1. Mild Nonproliferative Retinopathy

At this earliest stage, microaneurysms occur. They are small areas of balloon-like swelling in the retina’s tiny blood vessels.

2. Moderate Nonproliferative Retinopathy

As the disease progresses, some blood vessels that nourish the retina are blocked.

3. Severe Nonproliferative Retinopathy

Many more blood vessels are blocked, depriving several areas of the retina with their blood supply. These areas of the retina send signals to the body to grow new blood vessels for nourishment.

4. Proliferative Retinopathy

At this advanced stage, the signals sent by the retina for nourishment trigger the growth of…