How does diabetes affect the eye?
The retina, a paper-thin tissue, lines the back of the eye like wallpaper. It functions like film in a camera…light strikes it and provides us with vision. Diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels in the retina, and evenutually causes poor blood flow to the back of the eye. In advanced cases, fluid from these leaking and damaged blood vessels will fill the center of the retina (the macula). When this occurs, vision loss may be mild, moderate, or quite significant.
As blood flow decreases, the retina literally starves for oxygen. In advanced cases, fragile new blood vessels grow to replace the dead ones. Unfortunately, these new weak vessels often break, bleed, and fill the entire eye with blood. This can cause a rapid and significant loss of vision.