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Diabetes

Diabetic Retinopathy

05/24/2001

Question:

Hello, I am a ninth grader researching Diabetic Retinopathy. I am trying to find as much information on the topic of Diabetic Retinopathy, whether it is details or just general info. I know it is a disease that causes blindness in diabetic patients, but I would like to find out more specific details, such as early signs, diagnosing someone with dibetic retinopathy, the effects of diabetic retinopathy etc. Thank You

Answer:

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes. The small blood vessels in the retina of the eye are damaged, presumably from chronic high blood sugar levels. The risk of developing diabetic retinopathy increases if blood sugar levels are not adequately controlled. In addition, the risk of retinopathy increases the longer a person has diabetes. People with diabetes also have an increased risk of other eye diseases, including glaucoma and cataracts.

People with Type 1 diabetes should see an eye doctor for a complete exam when they have had diabetes three years (and are at least 10 years of age), and every year thereafter. People with Type 2 diabetes should see an eye doctor for a complete exam when they are diagnosed with diabetes, and every year thereafter.

People with diabetes should see an eye doctor as soon as possible if they experience symptoms of blurred vision, trouble reading, seeing double, eye pain, feeling pressure in the eye, or decreased peripheral vision (seeing things at the side).

Additional information can be found at the websites listed below. Good luck with your project!

Related Resources:

Prevent Diabetes Problems - Keep Your Eyes Healthy
Don't Lose Sight of Diabetic Eye Disease
Life with Diabetes - Diabetes and Your Eyes

For more information:

Go to the Diabetes health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Nancy J Morwessel, CNP, MSN, CDE Nancy J Morwessel, CNP, MSN, CDE
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Diabetes Center
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati