Natchez, Mississippi

Diabetes and The Eye

Diabetes can affect many body systems, including the eye, specifically the retina. The effect of diabetes on the retina is known as Diabetic Retinopathy. Diabetic Retinopathy can develop in anyone who has Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. It is also the leading cause of blindness in Americans today. The chance of developing diabetic retinopathy and having a more severe form is greater when your blood sugar is not controlled and having had diabetes for a long period of time. Diabetic Retinopathy may not need any treatment at first; however, it should be closely monitored for any changes that would require treatment. If treatment is needed there are several procedures including:
  • Laser surgery – it creates small burns in the retina where there are abnormal blood vessels. This is to try and prevent vessels from leaking.
  • Vitrectomy – is used when there is bleeding in the eye that will not subside over time. This is to remove the unwanted blood.
  • Injections – steroids & anti-VEGF medications are injected into the eye to try and stop the growth of new blood vessels.
If you have diabetes you can significantly lower your risk of vision loss by maintaining good control of your blood sugar and by visiting your ophthalmologist on a regular basis.