Look after your eyes on World Diabetes DayTuesday 14 November 2017
Do you or a friend suffer from diabetes? On #WorldDiabetesDay, we take a look at the range of diabetes-related eye problems that exist, and look at ways in which you can prevent potential sight-threatening conditions taking hold.
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common form of eye problem affecting people with diabetes. There are three stages: background neuropathy, maculopathy and proliferative retinopathy. Ultimately it can lead to blindness. Many opticians offer screening for diabetic retinopathy to diabetes sufferers, and because it is funded by the NHS, there is no cost to the patient. It is important to note that screening can detect the condition before you notice any changes to your vision. If it is detected early enough, management of the condition can stop it getting worse.
Glaucoma can also be diabetes-related and is common. It is usually a complication of diabetes if retinopathy develops. Glaucoma often goes unnoticed by sufferers in its early stage, so if you have diabetes an optometrist or another eye specialist should test you for glaucoma at least once a year. Cataracts generally occur as people get older and they can run in families. In addition, they occur more often in diabetes. An operation to remove the cataract is usually the only way to improve your sight, but it is important that the diabetes is controlled prior to the operation.
For diabetes sufferers who have had laser surgery, studies show that laser surgery prior to diagnosis lowers the risk of vision loss from diabetic eye disease. For those who have already suffered diabetic vision loss, unfortunately laser surgery cannot reverse the damage.
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