Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetes can affect the central vision or cause abnormal new blood vessels that can result in blindness. Regular dilated eye examaintion are recommended to detect changes at an early stage. People with diabetes are prone to other common eye conditions eg. Dry eyes and cataracts.

There are two main categories of diabetic eye disease.

Diabetic Macular Oedema

Diabetic macular oedema (DMO) causes a central blur of the vision (like macular degeneration). This is due to swelling at the macula which we use for clear central vision.

How is Diabetic Macular Oedema diagnosed?

The diagnosis is made by clinical examination and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). The Zeiss Cirrus 5000 will show pockets of fluid on the OCT and damage to blood vessels on the OCT angiogram.

What is the treatment of Diabetic Macular Oedema?

Traditionally DMO was treated with laser and it is still used in some situations. More recently, the recommended treatment for DMO is injections into the eye and this is very effective.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy affects the blood vessels at the back of the eye. These affects can result in abnormal new blood vessels that can bleed and cause loss of vision.

How is Diabetic Retinopathy diagnosed?

Diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed by a dilated eye examination. More detail may be acquired by a fluorescein angiogram.

How is Diabetic Retinopathy treated?

The first step is good control of sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol. Tablets are proven to help in people with type 2 Diabetes. Traditionally laser treatment is performed when the diabetic retinopathy reaches a certain stage. This is likely to change to eye injections in the future.

Click here to download a Diabetic Retinopathy information leaflet.

You may also like to visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology for further information on Diabetic Retinopathy and Eye Disease.