Diabetic Eye Disease or Retinopathy

At Adelaide Eye Surgeons, we offer specialised care and advanced treatment options for patients suffering from diabetic eye disease, leveraging our expertise to protect and enhance your vision.


Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes can affect the retina and the macula over time. Every patient with diabetes needs to have a thorough retinal examination with pupil dilation at least once a year in order to detect any changes before they start to affect vision and cause permanent damage.

High blood sugar levels over time make blood vessels leak fluid into the macula which reduces central vision. This is referred to as Diabetic macular oedema (DMO). DMO, if left untreated, can cause irreversible damage to central vision. Treatment of DMO depends on the location and extent of fluid in the macula. In very mild cases, simply controlling blood sugar levels and blood pressure can reverse the oedema. More advanced cases of DMO would need treatment with either Laser or intravitreal injections.

Diabetes can also lead to retinopathy. This starts out with mild changes to retinal blood vessels but can advance with time and uncontrolled blood sugar levels to the more vision threatening form of proliferative diabetic retinopathy. In proliferative diabetic retinopathy, abnormal blood vessels start to grow in the retina which can cause bleeding and, if left untreated, can lead to retinal detachment. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is treated with laser to the retina and in some cases intravitreal injections need to be given in addition to laser.


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What is diabetic eye disease?

This is a term used to describe common eye complications in people with diabetes. Poorly controlled diabetes can cause damage to the small blood vessels in the retina at the back of the eye. This can lead to bleeding and swelling in the retina causing vision loss. If not treated early, it can even cause blindness in severe cases.

What are the symptoms of diabetic eye disease?

  • Blurry vision or distorted central vision
  • Blank or dark patches in your vision
  • Fading of colours
  • Limited peripheral vision
  • Sudden vision loss. 

What treatment is available for diabetic eye disease?

Treatment varies dependent on what your Opthalmologist finds in your eyes. During early stages no treatment may be required other than regular monitoring. Advanced diabetic eye disease can be treated with eye injections, laser treatments, surgical procedures, and some medications. The best way to prevent progression requires working with your health practitioner to control your blood sugar, blood pressure, blood lipids, haemoglobin level and kidney function.

Founder and Surgeon at Adelaide Eye Surgeons

Dr Edward Greenrod

At Adelaide Eye Surgeons, our aim is to provide all South Australians with the best care for their eyes. We are experts in proven, advanced surgical treatments utilising modern technology. We specialise in cataract, cornea, glaucoma, laser and retinal surgery."

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