Those who suffer from diabetes are at risk of developing a disease called diabetic retinopathy. If you have consistently high blood and sugar levels, you can cause serious damage to your blood vessels, many of which are in your eyes. The blood vessels in your eye are responsible for supplying blood to the retina, so once damaged they begin to leak and narrow. This means there is an insufficient flow of blood to the retina, meaning it will not be able to function effectively, ultimately affecting your sight.
Stages of Diabetic retinopathy
There are 3 different main stages of Diabetic Retinopathy.
– Stage 1: background retinopathy – this is when tiny bulges have appeared in the blood vessels of the retina, causing some blood to leak. Your sight is not affected at this point, but you need to take care of your blood and sugar levels or the disorder will worsen.
– Stage 2: proliferative retinopathy – at this stage the effects are more severe and widespread leading to serious risk to your vision.
– Stage 3: Maculopathy – blood vessels in the central retina become leaky and blocked, putting your vision at high risk.
It is important for those who are diabetic to yearly screenings to monitor their vision. Controlling your sugar levels, blood pressure level and cholesterol are imperative in stopping the progression of the disorder. Quitting smoking and exercising more often, along with a good diet, is highly advisable.
Eye 2 Eye are proud to offer diabetic patients advanced screenings using an Optical Coherence Tomographer (OCT) to reveal the different layers that make up the retinal structure within the eye. Using the scanner and images taken, we are able to detect even the most subtle changes within the eye, making it easier to see signs early. Patients with diabetes may also require a dilated fundus examination, which includes using drops to temporarily widen the pupil for a more thorough retinal assessment.