Please see below the several common eye problems we routinely pick up:


 

Diabetic Eye Disease Glaucoma Cataracts Age Related Macular Degeneration
 

Diabetes is a disease caused by the pancreas producing insufficient quantities of insulin, which means that the body is unable to cope normally with sugar in the diet. It affects about one person in fifty in the UK.

Most people with diabetes know that it can affect their eyes, but it is still the commonest cause of blindness in the UK for people between the ages of 30-65 years. However, diabetic retinopathy can be prevented if diagnosed early enough.

Diabetes affects the eyes in several ways, but usually it involves the fine blood vessels in the retina. (Diabetic Retinopathy) In diabetes, the blood vessels become leaky and bleed more easily, which can get in the way of vision.  The early stages are called background retinopathy and at this stage there is no threat to sight.  Sometimes, however, the fine blood vessels become blocked and the area of the retina they are trying to supply does not get enough blood.  As a response to this, new blood vessels form in the eye to try to repair the damage (Neovascularistion).  However, these new vessels are very weak and grow in the wrong place causing scarring on the retina, which may eventually result in a retinal detachment, with severe loss of sight.  Rarely, the new blood vessels grow on the iris, which causes a severe glaucoma.

Other eye changes caused by diabetes are slight blurring of vision, if the blood sugar level is unstable, and cataracts.

Diabetic retinopathy can be treated by laser treatment.  If treated early enough, it causes the new blood vessels to disappear and seals blood vessels that are leaking. It is very important to detect any diabetic changes early, patients should have their eyes examined at least annually and should not wait until their vision has deteriorated before having an eye test.

The risk of developing diabetic eye disease and visual damage is increased by poor control of blood sugar, high blood pressure, smoking and alcohol. So good control of diabetes is very important.

For further information contact:
Diabetes UK on 020 7646 6112
         or

The British Diabetic Association
10 Queen Ann Street
London
W1M 0BD
Tel. 020 7323 1531