Quick facts about Diabetic Retinopathy

Leading cause of blindness in working age Australians

Leading cause of blindness in working age Australians

Caused by complications of diabetes

Caused by complications of diabetes

Early diagnosis can prevent 98% of severe vision loss

Early diagnosis can prevent 98% of severe vision loss

Image of the Brisbane skyline

Normal Vision

An example of how the Brisbane skyline might look to someone with Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

Understanding Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy is a common complication of diabetes, which causes damage to the blood vessels connected to the retina at the back of the eye. This leads to increasingly blurred, patchy and fluctuating vision.

Almost all people with Type 1 Diabetes and over half of people with Type 2 Diabetes will develop some form of this eye disease within 20 years of their diagnosis. However, vision loss may be reduced or prevented if the condition is detected early and treated appropriately.

Effects of Diabetic Retinopathy

Early symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy may include eye strain, blurred vision and headaches. Many people affected by the condition may not realise it is present until the advanced stages when vision loss is already significant.

The effects of Diabetic Retinopathy can include:

  • Difficulty with night vision
  • Struggling to focus
  • Difficulty completing fine detailed tasks (like reading and watching television)
  • Double vision
  • Blurry or patchy vision
  • Sensitivity to light

People with Diabetic Retinopathy might still be able to move around safely with minimal difficulty, or even be able to pick out items with their remaining vision.

Rodney’s story

“I had diabetes that was undiagnosed until I lost my vision. Now I can only see black and white contrast but with the help that Guide Dogs Queensland provides, it’s much more manageable.”

Rodney
Read more

Who is at risk?

People most at risk of developing Diabetic Retinopathy are those with high blood sugar levels, high blood pressure or a long history of diabetes. However, the risk of being affected by the condition can be minimised by taking prescribed medicines and controlling blood sugar levels through a healthy diet.

Diabetes can also increase the risk of other vision conditions, so it is always recommended that people with this condition have regular eye checks.

Image of a medical professional showing a man an image of an eye

Regular eye examinations are important for all Australians, and essential for those suffering from eye disease or vision impairment.

Martin Hodgson
Optometrist

Alanna is here to chat about your options and help connect you with an expert

Phone
Call 1800 810 122
Address
Guide Dogs Queensland Breeding and Training Centre
1978 Gympie Rd, Bald Hills Qld 4036
Office
Monday - Friday | 8:30am - 4:30pm
Contact
Contact Client Services online
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