Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of vision loss in the working age population in our country.
The answer is true: the key thing to remember about Diabetic Eye Disease is the longer you’ve had Diabetes, the higher the chance of developing trouble in the back of the eyes. Diabetes causes trouble in the retina through a number of ways. Primarily, when you’ve had Diabetes for many years, this results in damage to the small blood vessels in the back of our eyes.
So when these blood vessels are damaged, the eye is not getting enough Oxygen and that leads to a series of events that can cause loss of vision. For example, you can get fluid build up in the macula, which is the very center part of the retina. That can cause trouble with reading, driving, and normal activities.
In addition, abnormal blood vessels can grow in the back of the eyes. These blood vessels can proliferate, they’re very fragile, they can cause bleeding and scarring, and even a detached retina, which can cause patients to go blind. The key with Diabetic Retinopathy is to watch your blood sugar.
Controlling your blood sugar will reduce the risk of severe vision loss by more than 50%. Now once you have Diabetic Retinopathy, it’s very important to see a retina specialist because we have excellent treatments now that can stabilize the vision and in many patients, improve vision.
Surendar Purohit, M.D.