Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. Diabetes is a disease that effects blood vessels throughout the body including the eye. Some of the smallest and most delicate blood vessels in our body are found in the retina. Therefore they are some of the first ones affected by poor blood sugar control.
With diabetes, the blood vessels walls get damaged by chemical reactions caused by high sugar levels in the blood. Blood vessel walls can bulge and then leak causing swelling and hemorrhaging in the eye.
With proper care, diabetic eye disease can be controled allowing vision to be maintained. When diabetic patients fail to take care of their disease and it affects the eyes there can be permenant damage such as decreased vision and even blindness.
Some diabetics never have any eye issues and some have many eye problems. Each patient is different. Fortunately your eye care professional can detect and monitor eye damage and vision changes caused by diabetes. The good news is there are new and improved medical treatments for those patients who do have diabetic eye disease. If you have diabetes you need to keep your sugar levels under control and have regular eye exams.
Make sure you get a yearly comprehensive eye exam by your eye care professional.