Diabetic Retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that damages the blood vessels inside the retina, which eventually leads to irreversible vision loss.
It is a condition that many diabetic patients can easily overlook because symptoms such as blurry vision, eyestrain only occur in the later stage.
How does Diabetic Retinopathy damage our eyesight?
Diabetes changes the normal functioning of the retinal blood vessels, it causes them to bleed easily and becomes very leaky. Blood and other fluids leaking from the blood vessels will then disrupt the healthy retina shape and eventually causing retinal tissue death and permanent vision loss.
Usually, it is the retinal blood vessels in the peripheral retina being affected first, therefore, dilated eye examination is very useful in detecting this problem and avoid associated vision loss. It is also very important to have the eyes tested when diabetes is first diagnosed.
What can I do to prevent blindness due to diabetic retinopathy?
Since all people with diabetes are at risk of developing this condition, therefore, it is important to have a good management on blood sugar level, and perform dilated eye examination once a year to reduce the chance of losing sight from diabetic retinopathy.
Today, we have effective treatments such as laser, anti-VEGF treatment that are effective to treat sight loss related to diabetic retinopathy.
Regular eye examination by optometrists can reduce the risk of severe vision loss due to diabetic retinopathy through early detection and ensures timely referral for treatment.