Diabetes and Eye

Diabetes and Eye

Diabetic Retinopathy

The most common eye problem in patients with diabetes is retinopathy, a disease of the retina. The retina is light sensing region of the inner eye. Diabetic retinopathy is currently one of most frequent cause of new  onset blindness among adults. Retinopathy is more common in type 1 diabetic patients but type 2 diabetic patients may also develop it. Retinopathy is caused by damage to the blood vessels that supply blood to the retina. High blood sugar, high blood pressure and smoking can damage blood vessels.

Two forms of retinopathy are- nonproliferative (background) and proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

Vision warning signs-

  • Unexplained visual problems such as spots, floaters or cobwebs in your field of vision
  • Blurring vision or distortion of images
  • Blind spots in field of vision
  • Eye pain or persistent redness

You need to consult ophthalmologist if you feel any of these symptoms.

Tips for eye care for diabetic patients-

  • Get yearly eye examination (Fundus examination) from an ophthalmologist. Your eyes should be dilated for the examination.
  • Patients with type 1 diabetes need retina examination within 5 years after the diagnosis of diabetes while patients with type 2 diabetes need retina examination shortly after diagnosis.
  • Consult your Endocrinologist if you notice change in your vision but do not panic. High and low in your sugar/glucose levels may result in temporary blurring of vision.
  • Keep your blood sugar level in control and consult your Endocrinologist periodically.
  • Check your blood pressure (BP) periodically and keep it under control.
  • Quit smoking, in case you smoke.
  • Get early treatment of eye problems.