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Diabetic retinopathy

Question

What is diabetic retinopathy?

Answer Video and written answer:
Qualified optometrist Dr Nigel Best DOptom MCOptom FBCLA FAAO answers this question:

This is a condition which affects some diabetics after a number of years, depending on how well their insulin levels are controlled. In 'non-proliferative' retinopathy the blood vessels in the retina dilate, altering the blood flow in the retina. This condition usually causes no symptoms and is not sight-threatening, however it needs to be monitored carefully because it may signal future damage to the back of the eye. In 'proliferative' retinopathy, which can develop from the non-proliferative stage, new blood vessels form in the eye. These vessels are extremely weak and also in the wrong place. As a result the vessels can break and leak blood. This causes both scar tissue to develop and the fluid in the eye becomes cloudy. Occasionally, retinal detachment can occur.

For more information about diabetes, see our video below:

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Optician's Biography

Dr Nigel Best DOptom MCOptom FBCLA FAAO has worked as an optometrist for Specsavers for 17 years, both in his own practice and with the Professional Training department. He has a particular interest in dry eye and contact lenses and has had a number of academic papers published.
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