Diabetes

Did you know that diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in Canada in people under 60 years of age? Over 1.5 million Canadians are thought to have this disease. It blinds about 400 Canadians every year. Diabetes can also lead to other eye conditions such as cataracts, double vision or glaucoma. An important cause of visual loss in diabetics is the diabetic retinopathy and swelling of the retina called macular edema. The longer you are a diabetic or poorer the sugar control the higher the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.  Diabetics also run the risk of developing other complications such as kidney failure, heart attacks and strokes. Research has shown that controlling blood glucose levels, blood pressure and blood cholesterol or lipid levels slows down or even halts diabetic complications. 
                
Diabetic retinopathy involves a change in the blood vessels that feed the retina lining the back of the eye. These blood vessels weaken and leak fluid or blood. Sometimes the retina sprouts new abnormal vessels.  This causes the swelling of the retina, can lead to retinal or optic nerve infarction (stroke), the eye can fill up with blood or the retina can detach altogether.
              
It is therefore very important to be monitored by an ophthalmologist on regular basis, so that ideally a timely intervention can be provided before visual loss occurs, at which time it maybe too late for any chance of visual recovery ever. Such intervention may consist of change in medications, identification and treatment of concurrent aggravating conditions and risk factors, as well as retinal laser tratment, intraocular drug injections and surgery.
             
Dr. Bozdech has a special interest in diabetic eye disease. At the Bozdech Eye Clinic we hold specific scheduled diabetic clinic days in order to improve office efficiency and provide better service.