People who suffer from type I or type II diabetes are at greater risk of developing complications throughout the body. In particular, they need to be on the lookout for an eye condition known as diabetic retinopathy, and take steps to treat it as and when it is found. What is this, and how can it be handled?
1. Eye Damage
Unfortunately, diabetes can restrict the flow of blood to certain vessels in the body and may block the vessels that surround the retina. This is sometimes known as "proliferative," which means new blood vessels may form, but these cannot substitute for the original vessels and are quite fragile in and of themselves. Due to the fragility, they may have a tendency to leak, and in this case, blood may flow into the retina itself. Often, this activity can proceed without any symptoms whatsoever, but it will begin to increase the internal pressure within the eye. Eventually, vision loss will occur, and without any treatment at all, the patient may lose their sight.
It's important for anyone who suffers from type I or type II diabetes to visit their optometrist as often as possible. They should also keep their condition under control where possible and monitor their blood pressure, sugar levels, and cholesterol.
If diabetic retinopathy is discovered during an eye examination, then further tests may be required. Experts have many tools to help them these days, including highly sensitive and high-definition cameras and certain tests that will show how the blood vessels interact within each eye.
3. Treatment Options
Laser therapy may be recommended following an analysis of the situation. This can help to remove some of the damaged or irregular blood vessels and promote better eye health. In the worst analysis surgery may need to be performed as well, but this should be discussed with the specialist during an initial consultation.
If you need to have any other eye procedure (such as age-related cataract surgery), then you should discuss your condition with your surgeon. They will be able to advise a course of treatment that helps you to achieve the best outcome in all circumstances.
What to Do Next
If you have been diagnosed as suffering from diabetes, make sure that you keep up with your regular eye examinations so that you can avoid any unwanted symptoms. Your doctor can tell you how often you should visit a doctor or optometrist.