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What is it?

Changes that occur in the retina due to elevated blood sugar.

Who does it affect?

Both insulin and non-insulin dependent diabetic patients are affected. There is a greater chance of retinal changes in patients who have had diabetes for a longer period of time, or who have a consistently high blood sugar level.

How is it treated?

Regular dilated eye exams are the best defense against retinal complications from diabetes. In both types of diabetic retinopathy, early laser treatments and/or anti-inflammatory medicine have been found to decrease the chance of vision loss or other complications. In addition, the Diabetes Control and Complication Trial (DCCT) has proven that strict control of blood sugar can greatly reduce the potential for vision loss associated with diabetes. You need to work closely with your general physician or endocrinologist to maintain a well-controlled blood sugar level.