A disease that causes many health problems, diabetes is especially hard on the eyes and can lead to blindness. Diabetes of the eye, known as diabetic retinopathy, is the leading cause of blindness among adults. The risk of developing it corresponds with age and duration of the disease.
Nearly 25% of diabetics have some form of diabetic retinopathy, and 90% of diabetics experience some form during their lives. However, only a small percentage of those affected will have serious vision problems or become blind.
A complication of diabetes mellitus, diabetic retinopathy causes abnormalities in the tiny blood vessels nourishing the retina. As these vessels weaken, they leak fluid and blood, failing to provide necessary nutrients for retinal health. Untreated, diabetes of the eye can result in severe visual loss, including blindness.
The disease can be detected in a complete eye examination using special instruments and diagnostic tests to determine the extent of damage. Treatments are available in our office, including the use of lasers to seal leaking blood vessels and other procedures. If you or someone close to you is diabetic, regular complete eye examinations are the best protection for eye health and vision.