If you have diabetes, you already know that your body doesn’t use or store sugar properly. You work hard to keep your sugar balanced. But if your blood sugar gets too high, damage to the blood vessels in your eye may result. When this happens, it may lead to diabetic retinopathy, a condition that can lead to blindness if left untreated. Retinopathy is usually due to damage of the tiny blood vessels next to the retina.
The simple fact is the longer you have diabetes, the more susceptible you are to having damage done to your eyes. Diabetics should visit their eye doctor at least annually for a dilated eye exam.
How Does Diabetic Retinopathy Occur?
Over time, high blood glucose (sugar) level can weaken and damage the tiny blood vessels next to the retina. This can result in various problems:
- Small ‘blow-out’ swellings of blood vessels.
- Small leaks of fluid from damaged blood vessels.
- Small bleeds from damaged blood vessels.
- Blood vessels may just become blocked. This can cut off the blood and oxygen supply to small sections of the retina.
- New abnormal blood vessels may grow from damaged blood vessels. This is called proliferative retinopathy. These new vessels are
delicate and can bleed easily.
The leaks of fluid, bleeds and blocked blood vessels can damage the cells of the retina . In some severe cases, damaged blood vessels bleed into the vitreous humour (the jelly-like centre of the eye). This can also affect vision by blocking light rays going to the retina.
Schedule an appointment today to rule out this and other eye diseases.