What is Diabetic Eye Disease?

Diabetes can cause damage to the retina. Diabetes can trigger retinal blood vessels to swell and leak blood and fluid into the surrounding retina and also give rise to new blood vessel formation. The leakage of fluid and swelling of the retina can affect a patients central vision when the macula region is involved. Haemorrhages can occur within the retina from the damaged blood vessels and into the vitreous from new blood vessels leading to impaired vision. The risk of diabetic eye disease increases with a patients duration of diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in Australia and New Zealand. Treatment to improve and prevent diabetic eye disease includes intraocular injections with anti-VEGF agents and or long acting steroids, laser therapy and in severe cases vitreo-retinal surgery.