Diabetic Eye Disease
Everyone with diabetes is at risk of developing diabetic eye disease. For those who already have diabetic eye disease, there are steps to take to reduce the risk of further vision loss.
Living with diabetic retinopathy and the potential impact on vision can be challenging. However, most people with diabetic retinopathy should keep most, if not all vision, providing it is diagnosed early and all steps are taken to keep it under control.
Most people consider sight to be their most precious sense so it is critical to be aware of the risk of diabetic eye disease and to understand how to prevent its onset.
Diabetic retinopathy - the most serious diabetic eye diagnosis
Over time, high blood glucose levels can lead to damage of the small specialised blood vessels in the retina at the back of the eye. The vessels become weaker and may leak clear fluid and / or become blocked. This is called non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy and normally does not affect vision.
The early stages of diabetic retinopathy usually have no symptoms. However, once the disease reaches the proliferative stage, vision loss can occur rapidly and can be permanent.
This makes it essential for all those living with diabetes to have a comprehensive dilated eye examination at least every two years, or more often if recommended, and to follow professional advice to reduce the risks of diabetic retinopathy.
The following symptoms may not necessarily be signs of diabetic retinopathy, but should always be checked:
FAQs about Diabetic Eye Disease
While there is no way to completely prevent diabetic eye disease, here are some steps that may be protective:
- Attend regular eye examinations
- Control your blood sugar
- Eat nutritious food and exercise regularly
While treatment may help to stabilise and potentially improve vision, there is no cure.