If you are a diabetic, you are at risk of developing Diabetic Retinopathy. Damage to the very small blood vessels in the back of the eye can result in blindness. However, good blood glucose levels and blood pressure, and regular screening can greatly reduce the risk of complications.
Diabetic Retinopathy can occur in both type ONE and type TWO diabetes, in any age group, and in patients with good, controlled blood-glucose levels. For the reason, anyone with diabetes should have their eyes tested every year. Australian doctors now work closely with optometrist, and their diabetic patients, to monitor eye health.
Any damage that is detected early enough, treatment can often prevent any vision loss. If the damage is extensive though, and vision loss has already occurred, treatment can only stop it from getting worse. You cannot get back that vision that has been lost.
Some examples of symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy include:
*** Blurred, distorted or patchy vision that can’t be corrected with prescription glasses
*** Problems with balance, reading, watching television and recognising people
*** Being overly sensitive to glare
*** Difficulty seeing at night
If you are a diabetic and experience any of these symptoms, get in touch with your doctor or optometrist immediately. In the early stages of Diabetic Retinopathy there may be no symptoms and the disease may not be diagnosed until it is advanced. Therefore it is important to maintain regular eye tests as part of your diabetes management plan.