Recap on Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

As part of this year’s Orthoptic Awareness Week, we are shining the spotlight on some different eye diseases we see as part of our daily practice. The theme for this year’s othoptic awareness week is “Discover the Depths of Orthoptics” and today we are looking at the eye disease, Diabetic Retinopathy. Diabetic Retinopathy is a complication of the disease, Diabetes Mellitus. It is the leading cause of preventable blindness in working aged people in Australia. Did you know that almost 1.1 million Australians have been diagnosed with Diabetes? Of these, 300,000 have some degree of diabetic retinopathy and about 65,000 have progressed to sight threatening eye disease. For some people with Diabetes, the tiny blood vessels in the back of the eye – the retina – may start to leak, become blocked, damaged or grow abnormally. It is rare to develop Diabetic Retinopathy before the age of 10 and increases conversely with the length of time a person has Diabetes. The longer a patient has the disease, the greater the chance of developing an eye problem.

Who is at risk?

Anyone with diabetes is at risk for developing retinopathy. You may not notice any symptoms in early retinopathy, but early treatment is essential to prevent any vision loss.

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What DR looks like from a patient’s perspective. Image courtesy of Vision Australia

Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy

The treatments available for Diabetic Retinopathy may be in the form of laser or intraocular injections.

Can Diabetic Retinopathy be prevented?

Having a steady control of your diabetes is essential to maintaining optimal eye health. We recommend seeing an Ophthalmologist as soon as Diabetes has been diagnosed for a thorough eye examination. Your ophthalmologist will advise you on how often you need to attend for eye checks but it is preferred to see diabetic patients at least every 12 months, with some requiring shorter intervals between appointments.

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This shows an estimated 7 million Americans will suffer from DR by 2050

Are you Diabetic?

Please make sure you look after your eyes & book an eye examination today! Phone our rooms on 9241 2913 to arrange a time to see one of our Ophthalmologists. For more information on Diabetes and Diabetic Retinopathy visit http://sosdoctors.com.au/back-to-basics-diabetes-and-diabetic-retinopathy/

References:

www.visionaustralia.org www.orthoptics.org.au