Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in older Australians.
Diabetic eye disease refers to a group of eye problems that diabetics may face as a complication of their diabetes.
All can cause severe vision loss or even blindness.
Diabetic eye disease may include:
- Diabetic retinopathy – damage to the blood vessels in the retina.
- Cataracts – clouding of the eye’s lens. Cataracts develop at an earlier age in people with diabetes.
- Glaucoma – increase in fluid pressure inside the eye that leads to optic nerve damage and loss of vision. A person with diabetes is nearly twice as likely to get glaucoma as other adults.
During your eye appointment we will provide a thorough eye examination including an optional digital photograph and a check of the following:
- Leaking blood vessels.
- Retinal swelling (macular edema).
- Pale, fatty deposits on the retina–signs of leaking blood vessels.
- Damaged nerve tissue.
- Any changes to the blood vessels
Often there are no symptoms in the early stages of the disease, nor is there any pain. Don’t wait for symptoms.
In order that sight threatening changes can be detected, and treated, before vision is lost, it is essential that people with diabetes have the back of their eyes examined at least once a year.