Diabetic Eye Care
Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults under the age of 65. Diabetic retinopathy can affect patients with both Type 1 (juvenile onset) and Type 2 (adult onset) diabetes.
Diabetic retinopathy is a disease of the blood vessels in the delicate tissue called the retina. The retina acts like film in a camera and does the actual sensing of light within the eye. With Diabetic retinopathy, retinal vessels become incompetent and leak fluid and blood, thus failing to supply the nutrients necessary for good health in the retina.
Diabetic retinopathy is divided into two forms: (1) Non-Proliferative (NPDR), consisting of hemorrhages, leaky spots and small dilations in the vessel walls. (2) Proliferative (PDR), is all of that plus new blood vessels. These new vessels are always abnormal and will leak and bleed if left untreated.
Other factors contribute to the progression of Diabetic retinopathy. This list includes high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood stream. Each of these factors must be controlled as best as possible to assist in the treatment of retinopathy.
Regular examinations are critical for early diagnosis and therapy. We now have more to offer diabetics than ever before. Most do well, and vision can be preserved in the majority of patients, but cooperation via regular eye examinations is needed to control the disease.