Diabetes and the Eye

Table of Contents

Diabetes and the Eye

Diabetes often causes changes in the microscopic blood vessels inside the eye. This leads to poor blood circulation within the eye and to damage of the retina (the film-like membrane responsible for vision). At the Southland Eye Specialists Plaza, only ophthalmologists with specialized training in retina problems treat retinal problems.

Retinal edema

Damaged eye blood vessels may leak fluid into the retina. The retina swells (edema) and vision may be affected. Sometimes changes may resolve spontaneously and leave no permanent damage. At other times changes tend to progress and must be treated by retina subspecialists. Treatment is very important because it reduces additional visual loss.

Retinal neovascularization

When microscopic blood vessels over large areas of the retina are severely damaged the eye tries to compensate by inducing remaining blood vessels to multiply (“Neovascularization” – a form of “Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy”). The new blood vessels are abnormal and are not helpful. Some types, if left untreated, may rupture and cause bleeding inside the eye with severe visual loss.

Diabetics can help minimize their vision loss by undergoing periodic eye exams and by seeking care promptly when any symptoms appear.