Diabetes and Your Eyes
What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
People who have diabetes can develop an eye condition called diabetic retinopathy. This occurs when high blood sugar levels cause damage to blood vessels in the retina. These vessels can swell and leak, or they can close, stopping blood from passing through. In some cases, new blood vessels can grow on the retina.
Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy
You can have Diabetic Retinopathy and not know it, this is because there are often no symptoms in the early stages. As the condition progresses, you can begin to notice some of the following symptoms:
- Seeing an increasing number of floaters
- Blurry vision
- Vision that changes from blurry to clear
- Seeing blank or dark areas in you vision
- Poor night vision
- Colours can appear faded or washed out
- Losing vision
Who is at risk from Diabetic Retinopathy?
As you can probably guess, those who have been diagnoses with Diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.
Can I protect my eyes from Diabetic Retinopathy?
The risk of developing diabetic retinopathy increases over time, but controlling your blood sugar levels is the key risk factor that you can control, to delay the onset or progression of diabetic retinopathy. If you’ve not been diagnoses with diabetes, then regular eye tests are one way to protect yourself as our standard eye tests can spot the symptoms of diabetes.
If you have been diagnosed with Diabetes, then you should attend your annual screening at the hospital. You are also entitled to an eye test paid for by the NHS at an Opticians. All of our eye tests include the use of a fundus camera (***insert link***) which takes a photo of the back the eye. This photo allows us to monitor the health of your eye, and make more accurate comparisons when you return for future eye tests.
What to do next?
As with any other condition, regular eye tests are vital to help maintain the health of your eyes and vision. This is because our tests can often detect the signs of conditions before the symptoms occur.
If you have any concerns or questions, get in touch, we’re here to help.