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If you are diabetic, you should be concerned about your eyes

Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that affects the blood vessels of the retina (the back layer of the eye), which occurs due to diabetes. In a normal eye, blood vessels at the level of the retina help to deliver much-needed oxygen and nutrients to the cells there, to help with the transmission of signals to the brain. This is vital to help interact with the surrounding world and go about normal day-to-day life.

The symptoms of diabetic retinopathy are not apparent in early stages of the condition. However, as it progresses, a patien might see dark spots in their vision and blurriness. Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes and it is critical to consult your optometrist if symptoms persist, as this condition is vision threatening and can cause blindness. Currently in Australia, 1 in 3 people have some form of diabetes. Of these people, about 20% will develop diabetic retinopathy.
To treat diabetic retinopathy, it is critical that you treat the underlying cause, that is, diabetes itself. Diabetic retinopathy treatment is purely preventative, meaning that the earlier the condition is diagnosed and managed, the lowering of the risk of progression to advanced forms. Controlling blood sugar levels is essential through prescribed medicines as instructed, and following a healthy diet. There are also other surgical procedures and laser that can help slow the progress of the condition, but nothing will help to restore vision back once it is lost.

If you are a diabetic yourself, or are concerned for your ocular health in general,one of our optometrists will be able to help you. You can book an eye examination by contacting us on 9728 7288.

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