Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Diabetic Eye Disease Overview

Another name for Diabetic Eye Disease is Diabetic Retinopathy.

What is diabetic retinopathy?
A person with diabetic retinopathy has damage to the retina caused by long-standing diabetes. The retina is to the eye what film is to a camera. It is a thin membrane in the back of the eye that contains the rod and cone cells for vision. After receiving light, the retina sends messages to the brain through the optic nerve. Over time, diabetic retinopathy causes progressive blurry vision that can lead to blindness. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of blindness in those between 25 and 75 years old.

What are the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy?
Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include vision loss, loss of color perception, and the inability to distinguish between different colors.

How does the doctor treat diabetic retinopathy?
Treatment for diabetic retinopathy may include insulin, diabetes pills, weight loss, vitamin supplements, diabetes diet, ACE inhibitor medications, and control of hypertension. Surgery may be required to treat diabetic retinopathy.

Continue to Diabetic Eye Disease Incidence

Last Updated: Dec 9, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Diabetic Eye Disease References
  1. Bloomgarden ZT. Diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy. Diabetes Care. 2005 Apr;28(4):963-70. [15793207]
  2. Frank RN. Diabetic retinopathy. N Engl J Med. 2004 Jan 1;350(1):48-58. [1470242]
  3. Olson DE, Norris SL. Diabetes in older adults. Overview of AGS guidelines for the treatment of diabetes mellitus in geriatric populations. Geriatrics. 2004 Apr;59(4):18-24. [15086070]
  4. Sinclair SH, Malamut R, Delvecchio C, Li W. Diabetic retinopathy: treating systemic conditions aggressively can save sight. Cleve Clin J Med. 2005 May;72(5):447-54. [15929458]
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