Diabetes and the eye

Diabetes and the eye

Diabetes is a metabolic disease which causes unusually high blood sugar levels.  The hormone insulin is naturally produced to move sugar around the body. However when you are diabetic your body either doesn’t produce enough insulin, or the insulin that is produced isn’t used effectively. This build up of sugar can cause many problems throughout your body including loss of sensitivity in your fingers and toes, slow healing of wounds, and blurred vision.
Diabetes sufferers should get an annual eye test which will involve a retinal photograph or scan.  By taking a photograph or scan of the retina we can look for signs of Diabetic Retinopathy.  Diabetic Retinopathy is caused by bleeding or leakage of fluid from the small blood vessels at the back of the eye.  If this is not detected early it can lead to blindness. If a patient has been diabetic for a long time, or has poor control of their diabetes, then they are much more likely to develop Diabetic Retinopathy.  Many sufferers of Diabetic Retinopathy have no visual concerns,and therefore it is very important that it is checked regularly.