Diabetic Eye Disease
Patients with diabetes are at a higher risk for developing eye conditions because a high blood sugar level can damage blood vessels in the eye. Over 40 percent of patients diagnosed with diabetes develop some form of eye disease as a result. These conditions can cause blood or fluid to leak from the retina or new blood vessels to grow on the surface of the retina which can lead to significant damages to your vision and overall quality of life.
Your eyes can be affected by several different eye diseases related to diabetes. Some of these conditions include:
• Diabetic retinopathy – the most common diabetic eye disease and is a leading cause of blindness in adults.
• Proliferative diabetic retinopathy – the most advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy, and is classified by the growth of new blood vessels on the retina.
• Macular edema – a serious condition that can occur at any stage of diabetic retinopathy and involves a buildup of fluid in the macula, the light-sensitive part of the retina that allows us to see objects with great detail.
It is important for patients with diabetes to have dilated eye exams once a year to detect any signs of diabetic eye disease as soon as possible. You can also minimize your risk of developing diabetic eye disease by keeping your blood sugar and blood pressure under control, eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.