Over 25% of diabetics have some form of Diabetic Retinopathy.
The retina (the collection of nerves at the back of your eye) is just like any other body part – it needs to be supplied with blood and nutrients to remain healthy. Diabetic retinopathy is when the blood vessels that supply blood to the retina deteriorate as a complication of diabetes. In the early stages, diabetic retinopathy can cause damage without the patient experiencing any symptoms. This is considered by some to be the most dangerous phase as patients are not aware of the damage occurring at a time when treatment could be rendered stopping progression of the disease. Diagnosing and treating diabetic retinopathy early is the best way to prevent vision loss.
Diabetes can weaken the blood vessels in the retina causing them to leak fluid and blood into the retinal tissue itself. Left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can result in severe permanent visual loss, including blindness. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of permanent blindness among adults with diabetes.
Excellent control of blood sugar will dramatically reduce the risk of developing retinopathy or other serious diabetic problems.