What you need to know about Diabetic Retinopathy

13 May 2014

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that presents in a person with high blood glucose levels which can be a result of the pancreas not producing enough insulin, or else cells are unable to respond to the insulin that is produced.

Diabetes can affect a person’s eyesight with the most common condition developing being, Diabetic Retinopathy, which can be a side effect of Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

How the eye is affected by Diabetic Retinopathy

The retina is a layer of tissue found at the back of the eye which is the point of contact for the optic nerve which sends electrical impulses to the brain to allow a person to see.

In the retina there are thousands of small blood vessels which can be adversely affected by high blood glucose levels caused by diabetes.

Chronic hyper glycaemia can result in a progressive worsening of the amount of damage caused to these blood vessels and they become susceptible to leaking or being permanently blocked.

Long term damage

If these blood vessels become irreversibly damaged it affects the functioning of the retina which is responsible for interpreting incoming light. When this happens a person’s vision becomes blurred.

In the initial stages of Diabetic Retinopathy there are no noticeable symptoms which can mean that the condition can go undetected until significant damage has occurred.

If you are concerned about your vision, it’s important to have it checked as soon as possible.

How Diabetic Retinopathy can affect eyesight

  • Difficulty making out fine detail
  • Fluctuations in vision clarity
  • Blurred, hazy or double vision
  • Glare sensitivity
  • Difficulty focusing or loss of some visual fields

Ensure your eyes are healthy

At Optilase Northern Ireland you can put any concerns to rest with a consultation that will examine your overall eye health.

Blurred vision can be the first sign of diabetic retinopathy with the risk of developing the condition increasing with the length of time a person has diabetes.

Anyone with diabetes should be aware of diabetic retinopathy and take heed of any changes in their vision as early detection is key to minimizing long term damage to eyesight.

Book your eye consultation today on 08000 121 565.

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