Diabetic retinopathy is a diabetic eye disease that involves damage to the retina – the light-sensitive part at the back of the eye. Diabetic retinopathy usually only affects those people who have had diabetes for several years.
As diabetes becomes worse, high blood sugar levels can damage the tiny blood vessels in the retina, which can break, bleed (haemorrhage), and leak fluid. All forms of diabetic eye disease can potentially cause severe vision loss.
Diabetic macular oedema (also known as diabetic oedema) is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetic retinopathy in the UK. Diabetic oedema involves a swelling of fluid in an area of the retina called the macula, which controls central vision. Around half of all people with diabetic retinopathy will develop diabetic oedema.
Diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular oedema typically have no early warning signs until they start affecting vision. Bleeding from diabetic retinopathy may cause blurred vision. As diabetic retinopathy progresses, common symptoms may include:
- Seeing small spots ‘floating’ in your vision (floaters)
- Blurred or distorted central vision
- Impaired colour vision
- Dark or empty areas in your vision
Since diabetic retinopathy and diabetic oedema often lack early symptoms, anyone diagnosed with diabetes should get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. The early detection, prompt treatment, and appropriate follow-up care of these two diabetic conditions can protect and reduce vision loss.
At Circle Health, we offer some of the latest procedures for treating diabetic retinopathy and diabetic oedema, using state of the art technology. These procedures, listed below, can be used alone, or in combination with each other.
If you have diabetes, we can arrange a private clinical appointment for you to visit a leading consultant ophthalmologist at Circle Health who specialises in diabetic eye diseases. They can closely assess your condition, and advise you about the procedures at Circle Health that would be appropriate for you.