Diabetes – The leading cause of blindness in Canada

November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you should have a Comprehensive Eye Exam at least once a year with Retinal Images. Frequent visits are recommended if you have been diagnosed with some form of diabetic eye disease.

Early detection and treatment of diabetic eye disease will dramatically reduce your chances of sustaining permanent vision loss.

Diabetic Eye Disease is the name for a group of eye problems that can result from having Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Anyone who has diabetes has a higher risk of vision complications than someone without diabetes. The severity of diabetic eye disease is not always linked to the control of blood sugar. However, the longer someone has been diabetic, the more likely it becomes that he or she will experience vision complications.

People with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts at a younger age and are twice as likely to develop glaucoma. Also Macular edema ( macular degeneration) are more common in diabetics due to malfunctioning blood vessels in the middle region of the retina responsible for central vision.

Diabetic Retinopathy

This effect of diabetes on the eyes is the most common cause of blindness in people under age 65.

How do you know if you have Diabetic retinopathy?
Often there are no symptoms in the early stages of diabetic eye disease, so it is important that you don’t wait for symptoms to appear before having a comprehensive eye exam. However, if you suddenly see specks or spots floating in your vision, experience blurred or double vision, pain or a feeling of pressure in your eye or notice any change in your vision that lasts for more than a couple of days, please call us for an appointment.

Reducing Your Risk

You can significantly reduce your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy by using common sense and taking good care of yourself:
•    Keep your blood sugar under good control.
•    Maintain a healthy diet.
•    Exercise regularly.
•    Follow your doctor’s instructions.


Laser surgery is the most common form of treatment for diabetic retinopathy. There are also medications that can be injected directly into the eye to shrink abnormal blood vessel growth and decrease swelling within the retina.

Cataracts are commonly treated by surgically removing the clouded natural lens within the eye and replacing it with a clear, artificial lens. Cataract surgery is the most common vision surgery in Canada and is typically performed on an outpatient basis.

Glaucoma treatment may consist of the use of medications delivered daily in eye drop form, or may be treated surgically through the use of a laser or other surgical procedure.

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