Diabetes and your eyes
Diabetes is a chronic condition that cannot be cured. Anyone with diabetes is at risk of developing diabetic eye disease. Diabetes may affect vision by damaging to blood vessels in the back of the eye.
Diabetes can cause blurring of vision depending on blood glucose levels, it can cause cataracts, increased risk of glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.
What is diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) involves damage to the retina over time due to high blood glucose levels. Early stages involve leakage of fluid from retinal blood vessels, which is called non-proliferative retinopathy, and does not normally affect vision. However, over time, the leakage can cause swelling (edema). When the swelling is in the central macular area (diabetic macular edema, DME), it can cause loss of central vision. DR can also cause blockage of the small retinal vessels, resulting in further affects on vision, which is called proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR).
Getting your eyes checked
As early stages usually do not show any symptoms it is important to regularly get your eyes checked by an optometrist or ophthalmologist if you are a diabetic.
If you are a diabetic, It is very important to have your eyes checked at least every two years for a dilated eye examination performed by an optometrist or ophthalmologist, as in the eary stages you may not have any symptoms of DR. Early detection is vital: without early examination and therefore, possible treatment, rapid progression can occur. The earlier the managements and treatment, the higher the chance of saving sight.
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