What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
This is a medical condition caused by diabetes where the tiny blood vessels in the retina are damaged by chronically high blood sugar. This damage causes bleeding, which distorts vision and, eventually, leads to blindness if untreated.
This disease affects 80% of the people who have had diabetes for 20 years or more. The longer a person has diabetes, the higher their chances of developing this condition.
Diabetic Retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in people 20 to 64 years old.
But at least 90% of the new cases could be reduced if there was proper treatment and monitoring of the eyes.
And this is why retinal exams are a critical part of a diabetic’s health care routine. If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, whether it’s Type I or II, you need to start thinking about regular retinal exams to make sure your vision is healthy.
Retinal exams are fairly simple procedures, with the eye care professional dilating the pupils so they can see into the eyes. The patient’s vision may be a little blurry for a couple of hours, but that’s the only side effect.
If Diabetic Retinopathy is discovered, there are a few effective treatments that we can suggest, from something as non-evasive as taking medication to surgery or laser treatments to cause coagulation in the blood vessels.
Diabetic Retinal Exams are strongly recommended for anyone who has diabetes and has been living with that condition for a longer period of time. We recommend getting a comprehensive retinal exam every year because diabetic retinopathy often has no warning signs until blindness occurs.
So if you’re currently living with diabetes and want to take early steps to prevent losing your vision, come see us at Fraser Valley Cataract & Laser. Our team can diagnose and monitor this condition.