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Diabetic Eye Checkup

Diabetic retinopathy is where damage occurs to the retina due to diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy can damage your peripheral retina and central retina (macula). In the early stages of the disease, the blood vessels of the retina can either become blocked (leading to shortage of blood) or leak (leading to deposition of blood and fluid in the retina). Both of these progressions can reduce vision and damage the retina.

Diabetes affects approximately 3 per cent of our population. In Australia there are close to 750,000 people with diabetes, with the disease being one of the most common causes of reduced vision. All people with diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. The longer you have had diabetes, the more at risk you are of developing diabetic eye disease. It can eventually lead to blindness and often has no early warning signs; hence the importance of early and regular eye exams.

Treatment for diabetic retinopathy include laser photocoagulation, intravitreal injections, and in some cases, vitrectomy. Of course optimising your control over your diabetes is the mainstay of treatment. However, the surgical treatments available are extremely successful in maintaining and stabilising vision. Treatment for diabetic retinopathy is safe and effective, but it’s important to ensure an understanding of the risks which may be involved. You should discuss treatment with your Hope Island Optical eye specialist, as forgoing treatment can allow your condition to worsen.

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