Are Floaters a Symptom of Diabetes?

Floaters are small specks or clouds moving in your field of vision. You may see them more clearly when looking at a plain background, such as a blank wall. Floaters are actually tiny clumps of gel or cells inside the vitreous, the clear jelly-like fluid that fills the inside of your eye. Floaters can have different shapes, such as little dots, circles, lines, clouds or cobwebs.

Though these objects look like they are in front of your eye, they are actually floating inside of it. What you see are the shadows they cast on the retina, the nerve layer at the back of the eye that senses light and allows you to see. 

While floaters may be experienced by patients of varying ages and with different health conditions, for patients with diabetes floaters can be a symptom of diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy is a common but serious complication of diabetes that affects the blood vessels in the retina of the eye. The retina is the inner lining that covers the back of the eye. It converts any light that hits the eye into signals that can be interpreted by the brain. This process produces visual images, and it is how sight functions in the human eye. Diabetic retinopathy damages the blood vessels within the retinal tissue, causing them to leak fluid and distort vision. Early signs of diabetic retinopathy are blurry vision, floaters, loss of central vision and black spots in the area of vision.

If you have diabetes, you should have your eyes examined regularly, at least once a year, to check for signs of diabetic eye disease. If you notice a sudden increase in floaters, contact your eye doctor right away. 

To schedule an examination with our doctors in Phoenix, contact Associated Retina Consultants at 602-242-4928 or website today. 

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