In diabetic retinopathy, blood vessels may swell and leak fluid or abnormal new fragile blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina, if untreated causing blindness.
Is it enough for diabetics to visit an Endocrinologist (diabetes specialist)? No, you should also have a regular visit to an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) at least once or twice a year for eye test. It helps detect eye complications in the early stages and proper treatment to prevent any sight loss.
Diabetic eye diseases
People with diabetes both type 1 and type 2 have to get a dilated eye exam by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) immediately after diagnosis. Patients with diabetes are more likely to develop vision problems such as cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. According to the National Eye Institute, about 28.5 percent of U.S. adult’s ages 40 and older with diabetes have diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes eye problems are mostly asymptomatic so a comprehensive yearly eye exam is the only way to ensure early detection of eye disease associated with diabetes.
Diabetic eye disease refers to a group of eye problems that people with diabetes may face as its complication. All can cause severe vision loss or even blindness.
Diabetic eye disease may include:
- Diabetic retinopathy - damage to the blood vessels in the retina
- Macular edema
- Cataract - clouding of the eye's lens, develop at an earlier age for diabetics.
- Glaucoma - increased fluid pressure inside eye that leads to optic nerve damage and loss of vision diabetics have twice chance to get glaucoma as other adults.
Retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in adults. Causes of Retinopathy are if the blood vessels swell and leaks or an abnormal new fragile blood vessel grows on the surface of the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. Clear retina is a necessary for proper vision.
At the beginning of diabetic retinopathy, there is no vision change. Over time can get worse and even cause vision loss. Usually diabetic retinopathy affects both eyes.
Diabetic macular edema
Diabetic macular edema causes swelling of the retina due to leakage of fluid from blood vessels within the macula. The macula is the central portion of the retina, the special nerve endings that sense color and responsible for daytime vision.