Diabetic Eye Disease

What is it?

Diabetes is a metabolic condition which effects the regulation of glucose in the cells of the body. Statistics Canada in 2017 calculated a prevalence of 7.3% (2.3 million Canadians aged over 12). Diabetics have a 25 times higher risk of developing blindness than the rest of the population. Diabetes can cause multiple central and peripheral complications in the retina. These complications include:

Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

Accumulation of blood, blood breakdown products or changes in native retinal blood vessel morphology. This is usually the first sign of retinal disease from diabetes and is further classified into mild, moderate, severe and very severe.

Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

This is a late complication of diabetes diagnosed through the detection of new blood vessel growth on the retinal surface in an attempt from the retina to provide blood (and energy) to areas of the retina who have no viable circulation due to diabetic destruction of the vascular bed. This is further classified into low risk and high risk depending on whether there is active bleeding in the eye from these new blood vessels or not. This complication is usually managed by the administration of laser therapy (Pan-retinal Photocoagulation)

Retinal Detachment

This is the final stage of diabetic retinopathy whereby new blood vessels and fibrous tissue cause the retinal to fold and stick together in the back of the eye. This complication usually requires surgical repair and is frequently associated with poor visual outcomes.

Diabetic macular Edema

This complication is due to leakage of fluid in the central retinal area (macula). It causes decreased or blurry vision. It is treatable with injections to the eye and/or laser therapy. Steroid therapy is reserved for cases refractory to first line agents.


Risk Factors

Care you can see

If you are suffering from a retinal condition or simply experiencing issues with your vision, our team of experts will be happy to assist you.

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