Diabetic Retinopathy

Services at Optometrist Parramatta

Diabetes and your eyes

Diabetes can have a significant impact on your eye health, increasing the risk of developing conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of vision impairment and blindness in Australia.

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when high blood sugar levels damage the delicate blood vessels in the retina – the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye. This can cause leakage, swelling, and inflammation in the retina, eventually leading to vision loss if left untreated.

About 75% of people with diabetes will develop some form of diabetic retinopathy within 5-20 years of being diagnosed. Early detection and management are crucial for preserving vision.

There are two main stages of diabetic retinopathy:

1. Background Retinopathy: weakened blood vessels begin to leak and swell nerve fibers, causing minor internal bleeding.

2. Proliferative Retinopathy: new abnormal blood vessels grow in the retina, leading to further bleeding, scarring, and potentially serious complications like retinal detachment. This stage is sight-threatening and requires immediate intervention.

Often, there are no obvious symptoms in the early stage of diabetic retinopathy, which is why regular eye exams are essential for timely detection and treatment.

Early diagnosis is key, as proliferative diabetic retinopathy can be managed through laser treatment to prevent further vision loss. However, this treatment is preventative, not restorative – meaning the earlier it is detected and treated, the higher the chances of success in preserving your remaining vision.

We offer a dedicated Diabetic 360° Eye Exam for patients with diabetes. This includes a comprehensive eye test as well as additional screening for vision conditions associated with diabetes. We recommend scheduling this exam every 12 months.

Don't neglect your eye health

Living with diabetes requires diligent self-care across many aspects of your health, including your vision. Regular eye exams are important to prevent and manage vision conditions associated with diabetes. Prioritise your eye health today to safeguard your sight and catch any issues before they progress.

Book a 360° Eye Test today

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