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Diabetes & Eyes

Diabetes, as we all know can cause various health complications. Different organs get compromised and eyes are one of them. 26 million Americans have diabetes and 84-90% of them have diabetic retinopathy within 10-18 years of the onset. The level of severity will vary,but half of them don't even know that they have. Diabetic retinopathy(DR) is the leading cause of blindness in the working age group from 25 to 65 in the United States. Diabetic retinopathy is associated with retinal hemorrhages, hypoxia, micro aneurysms, and swellings due to leakage of retinal blood vessels. Further complications include new vessel formation(proliferation retinopathy) in retina and optic nerve area which can lead to fractional retinal detachment, macular edema and neovascular glaucoma that ultimately cause severe vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy causes 12,000 to 24,000 new cases of blindness each year according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. It is estimated that in diabetic patient the risk of becoming blind is 29 times higher than in non-diabetic of similar age group. It is imperative for diabetic patient to have annual eye examination and more detailed retinal evaluation with dilation and retinal imaging tests such as fundus photography.