Diabetes and the retina
Diabetic patients are at significantly at risk of developing complications with their sight and eye health. The eye has a lens and an opening (aperture) at the front. This adjusts to bring objects into focus on the retina at the back of the eye. At the centre of the retina is the macula, this is a small area about the size of a pinhead. This is the most specialised part of the retina and it is vital because it enables you to see fine detail and read small print.
Diabetes can affect the eye in a number of ways:
Young people suffering with diabetes can occasionally develop a special type of cataract. Whilst older patients with diabetes can be particularly prone to developing cataracts. Cataracts in both scenarios can be successfully removed by surgery.
Your vision can become blurred for a few days or weeks while your diabetes is first being controlled. This is due to the swelling of the lens of the eyes, this will clear without treatment after the diabetes is controlled.
The most serious diabetic eye condition involves the retina and is called diabetic retinopathy. It is very common in people who have had diabetes for a long time. There are two types of diabetic retinopathy which can damage your sight, maculopathy, when the blood vessels in the retina start to leak and proliferative diabetic retinopathy, when the blood vessels in the retina to become blocked. Without treatment, total loss of vision can occur in proliferative retinopathy.