Diabetic Eye Problems
Diabetes affects the eye in a number of ways. The most damaging condition occurs when the fine network of blood vessels in the retina – the light-sensitive inner lining of the back of the eye – leak fluid. This is known as diabetic retinopathy. Cataracts also develop earlier and progress more rapidly in people with diabetes than in other people. Untreated diabetes may also make cause frequent or noticeable changes to your eyesight.
Serious eye problems are less likely if the diabetes is well controlled or in its early stages. Most sight loss from diabetic eye disease can be prevented if detected early and treated.
How can your optometrist help?
Optometrists have an important role to play in detecting the disease and in monitoring the eyes of people with diabetes once diagnosed. Photographs of the retina are taken using our digital retinal camera. The 3D OCT -digital retinal camera may also be used to detect and monitor any abnormalities. Checking the appearance of the retina with a special lens called a volk lens in combination with a lighting system gives the optometrist a 3D view of the back of your eye and may be used when when testing for diabetic eye problems.
Remember, however, that if your vision is getting worse, this does not necessarily mean you have diabetic retinopathy. It may simply be a problem that can be corrected with spectacles. Your optometrist will be able to decide what is causing any reduced vision. You are also advised to have an annual sight test with your optometrist at Radyr Eyecare to check the health of your eyes and ensure your vision remains good.
What can be done?
The image link below will take you to the Macular Society which is an excellent resource for up-to-date information and advice regarding Macular Degeneration.