Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic eye disease is the set of visual complications of diabetes. Visual loss occurs when the presence of diabetic eye disease is severe enough to block the visual pathway.
Very few of all diabetics suffer significant visual loss. Of those that do, the loss was often preventable and is irreversible.
The incidence of diabetic eye disease is primarily related to adequacy of blood sugar control and duration of diabetes.
Regular eye reviews, at least two yearly from diabetic diagnosis, are the best protection for a diabetic's sight. Early detection and intervention on a general health level as well as on an eye level will substantially reduce the risk of developing diabetic visual loss.
Specific eye treatments are directed to sealing leaking vessels with lasers, inactivating poorly functioning peripheral retina that produces new abnormal vessels and, in advanced disease, surgical treatments to repair vitreous hemorrhage and retinal detachment.
Injections of chemicals into the eye cavity are sometimes required, similar to their use in macular degeneration, and these are quick and relatively painless.
Diabetes will be your lifelong companion. Early detection, tight control, understanding of the condition, and regular checks will minimize the development of sight threatening changes across a lifetime.