What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition where the body is unable to automatically regulate blood sugar levels, resulting in high sugar levels in the blood. Over time this high blood sugar level damages the blood vessels and nerves in the Eyes, Kidneys and the Feet. It also increases the risk of stroke, heart disease and impotence.
How does Diabetes affect the Eye?
Diabetes causes blurring of vision, often due to an early onset of Cataract and problems with the lens focusing (resulting in frequent changes in glasses). It also causes raised eye pressure resulting in a risk to a condition called Glaucoma. More importantly, Diabetes affects the blood vessels of the nerve tissue of the eye (Retina) causing bleeding and even blindness. This condition is called Diabetic Retinopathy. Retinopathy causes swelling of the most sensitive part of the eye called Macular Oedema.
Who needs an Eye Check?
All patients with Diabetes need an Eye Check every 2 years. However, your Specialist Eye Doctor (Ophthalmologist) will tailor a follow up regime depending on the condition of your eye.
Can Diabetic Eye Disease be treated?
Yes. Your Specialist Eye Doctor(Ophthalmologist) can treat it. A loss of focus and blurred vision can be treated with a change of glasses. Cataracts can be treated with the latest Phaco Cataract Surgery. Glaucoma can be treated with eye drops, Laser or Surgery. Diabetic Retinopathy can be treated with injections to the eye, Laser and later with Surgery.
What can I do to reduce the risk of Diabetic Eye Disease?
- Keep your Blood Sugar, Blood Pressure and Cholesterol levels under control
- Visit your GP and Specialist Eye Doctor(Ophthalmologist) regularly
- Exercise and have a balanced diet.
For more information, please visit diabetesvic.org.au
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