Diabetic Retinopathy

Who is at risk of diabetic eye disease?

People with all types of diabetes. The risk increases the longer you have diabetes and the condition includes:-

Diabetic retinopathy - This is a complication of diabetes caused by high sugar levels that affect blood vessels at the back of the eye.

What are the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy?

You won’t usually notice diabetic retinopathy in the early stages, as it doesn’t tend to have any obvious symptoms until it’s more advanced. However, early signs of the condition can be picked up if you notice any of the symptoms below:

  • Sudden loss of vision

  • Gradually worsening vision

  • Shapes or floaters

  • Blurred or patchy vision

  • Eye pain or redness

 

Can I reduce my risk of developing Diabetic Retinopathy?

You can reduce your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, or help prevent it getting worse, by:

  • Controlling your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels

  • Taking your diabetes medication regularly

  • Getting medical advice quickly if you notice any changes to your vision

  • Maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy balanced diet,exercising regularly, stopping smoking

 

Treatment

You can be treated in many ways depending on the stage of your disease, but the benefits of regular screening cannot be over emphasised. In the early stages, your Consultant may advise that we monitor the progression of the disease, which is usually managed by regular 3- 6 monthly reviews.

If, however, your condition requires further investigation, we can offer you the most comprehensive screening and diagnostic tests available:

  • Retinal photography

  • Fluorescein angiography

  • Digital imaging of the retina

 

Progression of your retinopathy to a more advanced stage may also require:

  • Argon Laser - this destroys the abnormal blood vessels outside your central vision and prevents continued growth of the fragile vessels and seals the leaking ones. The goal of the treatment is to arrest the progression of the disease.

  • Injections Anti - VEGF - Medication including Lucentis / Eylea / Novartis can be given by injection.

 

If you would like further reading we recommend:

www.nhs.uk , www.rnib.org.uk , www.diabeticretinopathy.org.uk or www.diabetes.co.uk