Diabetes is the most common cause of blindness in people under the age of 65 in Canada and the most common cause of new blindness in North America. People with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts at a younger age and are twice as likely to develop glaucoma, a disease of the optic nerve. The effect of diabetes on the retina is the most serious threat to vision. These conditions can be treated or managed if identified early, but they can lead to vision loss or even blindness if left untreated.
Diabetic retinopathy is a serious vision complication, caused by uncontrolled diabetes. This disease causes damage to the structure of the blood vessels found in the retina and causes them to leak blood. Some people with this disease experience swelling and fluid leaking from the blood vessels into the macula of the eye. The macula is the part of the retina that is responsible for sharp central vision. This process is known as diabetic macular edema and results in loss of vision.
One major problem for patients with diabetic eye disease is that there are often no symptoms until the disease reaches an advanced stage. Tight blood glucose control can significantly reduce the incidence and severity of diabetic retinopathy. According to the National Eye Institute, with early detection through a dilated eye exam, timely treatment and appropriate follow up, the risk of severe vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be reduced by 95 percent.
Humber Bay Eyecare
2129 Lakeshore Blvd. W.,
Etobicoke, ON M8V 0B3
Dr. Shala Lakhani