By Dr. Nadine Shelton
Will Diabetes make you go blind?
The chance of getting diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy depends on a few factors such as, the type of diabetes you have and how long you have had it, how often your blood glucose levels change and how well you can control your sugars. Diabetic Retinopathy is a complication that affects eyes by damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina).
People who are diabetic have higher blood sugar levels. This can cause some of the blood vessels in the retina to swell and leak. Other vessels can close off and stop the flow of blood to a region within the retina. When these vessels stop working efficiently, then the eye may even try to grow new abnormal blood vessels which can also leak.
Some possible symptoms of diabetic retinopathy are blurry vision to loss of central vision, inability to see colours and black spots in your vision. It is possible to have diabetic retinopathy and have no signs of the condition, which is why it is important for diabetics to get an annual eye exam.
There are different categories of diabetic retinopathy depending on the damage seen on the retina. Non-Proliferative retinopathy is characterized by tiny blood vessels leaks that make the retina swell in those areas. The vision affected and the severity depends on the amount of swelling, if the leak is near the macula (a thin layer of tissue near the retina at the back of the eye). Proliferative retinopathy happens when the retina starts to grow new blood vessels that are very small and fragile. These new vessels can sometimes bleed into the vitreous (the clear gel that fills the space between the lens and the retina). This can cause one to see tiny black floaters or completely block ones vision. Depending on the severity of the retinopathy, both types can require treatment and possibly surgery.
Eye Care Advice
Diagnosed diabetes patients or suspected diabetic patients within our practice fall under medical exam visits which, are covered by Manitoba Health with a Manitoba Health number. Diabetic patients are encouraged to have an Optometrist monitor their vision on an ongoing annual basis. Contact me at nv eye care eye wear if, you are a diabetic and have questions and, or concerns about your vision and eye health. You may also visit me, free of charge at nv, because patient visits with eye concerns are always covered with a Manitoba Health number. For more answers to your vision health questions, please contact me, Dr. Nadine Shelton at nv, 204-504-6863.
Dr. Nadine Shelton B.Sc, O.D. studied at University of Winnipeg, Canada and Indiana University, USA. She has worked abroad in Guanajuato, Mexico assisting outreach patient eye care with VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity). Her university days focused on early child eye care and low vision. Dr. Shelton has spent almost nine years in South St.Vital growing her practice. She has recently opened her new own practice with her partner Victor Lopes. It is located in the heart of the Corydon Village called nv. nv is a full service optical where eye exams are available and a great selection of unique to the city eye wear can be found. Learn more at nvmyeyes.com, call us at (204) 504-6863 or come see us at 100-698 Corydon Ave in Winnipeg, Canada.