High blood glucose can weaken the walls of blood vessels in the eyes. The weak blood vessels form pouches called microaneurysms which can become leaky and release blood, fat, and fluid in the retinal tissues. This can result in blurry vision. Leakage in the central retina will cause it to swell, called macular oedema.
Some of these changes to the retina can be temporary but if damage continues, new abnormal blood vessels start to grow. These vessels are very fragile and can start to rupture where blood pours into the retina, affecting your vision. When the bleeding stops, scar tissue can form which can tug on the retina and cause a retinal detachment.
Diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness which is avoidable
The American Diabetes Association recommends an annual dilated retinal exam for all Type 2 diabetics. Dilated retinal exams will help us diagnose changes in the retina and refer you to an Ophthalmologist early for intervention. Diabetic retinopathy can be managed with retinal lasers and/ or injections in the eye. The earlier we can detect these changes and treat them, the better the outcomes.
If you are a diabetic, have a dilated retinal exam once a year.