Diabetes mellitus is the most common endocrine disorder in the world. Diabetes is caused by abnormalities in the ability of the body to metabolize circulating blood glucose (sugar) into stored carbohydrates and fats. This causes elevations in levels of circulating blood glucose. This elevation in blood sugar damages blood vessels in vital organs such as the kidneys, heart, brain, feet and the eyes.
How can my Diabetes affect my eyes?
Diabetes can affect the eye in many ways and may lead to multiple problems ranging from blurred vision to early cataract formation to retinal detachments and bleeding inside the eye. By examining the blood vessels in the retina, the ophthalmologist can determine if diabetic damage is being done. People with diabetes should have a dilated eye examination yearly.
If you are diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, the ophthalmologist will discuss the various treatment options with you. Treatment for the damaging effects of diabetic retinopathy includes laser photocoagulation, injections in and around the eye and surgery. The earlier diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed the more effective the treatment. Research continues to give us new tools for the diagnosis and treatment of diabetic patients.