Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy is in the top three blinding conditions in the western world.

Diabetes weakens the small blood vessels that feed the retina at the back of the eye. The result is swelling of the small vessels (microanuerisms) which eventually burst and bleed causing a range of sight threatening problems within the eyeball.

Diabetic Retinopathy is related to how good blood sugar level control has been and how long you have had diabetes (This may be much longer than the time that you  have been diagnosed with it).

If you have diabetes it is important that you have very regular retina check ups. We recommend at least once a year. We strongly recommend investigation through a dilated (enlarged) pupil and retinal photography which is the very best way of picking up the early diabetic changes. We dilate your pupil with drops that can cause blurring and glare problems for a couple of hours – so we recommend bringing a driver or arranging other alternative transport.

Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy is usually performed with laser which is used to stop the bleeding and more recently injections to stop growth of poor quality leaky new blood vessels that can occur after bleeding within the eye. The earlier that problems are caught the less treatment is usually needed.