This is the most common cause of blindness in the 20 to 65 year old age group in the Western World. In some people, diabetes can have a damaging effect on the blood vessels that nourish the eye's light-sensitive nerve layer at the back of the eye (the retina). Such damage is permanent, cumulative and may result in blindness if not controlled.
If diabetic damage to the eye (diabetic retinopathy) is detected early, laser treatment can be used to minimise further damage. Early damage seldom causes any visual symptoms to the patient, so it is important to screen ALL diabetics on a regular basis. Early detection by photoscreening will allow prompt treatment where needed.
www.diabetes.org.nz Diabetes New Zealand
www.retina.org.nz Retina New Zealand