Diabetes is becoming increasingly prevalent in the American population. As more people are diagnosed with the disease, more are facing the sight-threatening risk of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy, which affects the retina, or the light-detecting tissue in the back of the eye, is one of the leading causes of blindness in our country. Though the disease has the potential to be very dangerous and blinding, proper diagnoses, treatment, and management of diabetic retinopathy significantly reduces the risks of vision loss. By working with your eye care provider, primary care doctor, and endocrinologist, cases of diabetic retinopathy can be treated, or even prevented.
The eye is the only place in the body where blood vessels and nerves can be directly and noninvasively observed. This means each time you go to the eye doctor, they are evaluating important factors about your overall health. An overwhelming number of systemic diseases can have significant effects on the eyes, and these effects can be identified in comprehensive eye exams. Diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes can wreak havoc on ocular blood vessels if not properly controlled.