Diabetic Retinopathy

Transcript: Diabetes can be detected while undergoing an eye exam. High resolution images like this one that ophthalmologist alan lacoste is viewing give a physician a unique look inside the entire body. “By looking into the eyes we can see the blood vessels, so there’s really nowhere else on our body where you can just visibly look at the blood vessels. Doctor Lacoste says that by examining the retina, the light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye, he can oftentimes detect undiagnosed diabetes. Dr. Alan Lacoste, ophthalmologist) “one of the first things that you see are areas of bleeding right outside the blood vessels. This damage is known as “diabetic retinopathy” and it’s something doctor lactose says needs to be taken seriously. “Even with all our technologies and abilities to treat it, more people go blind from diabetes than any other condition. If caught early enough, a laser can be used to decrease the fluid leakage. “When you focus the laser on the diseased part of the retina, the light travels through the eye and has no effect on the eye but then when it hits the retina, it’s stopped and it’s converted into a minute amount of heat and it cauterizes the retina. Laser surgery does not cure diabetic retinopathy, but it will help prevent further loss of vision. Early intervention is key to those most at risk for vision loss because of diabetes. “With the increased diagnosis of diabetes in our population, it’s critically important that everyone have a complete eye exam once they’re past 45 years of age every year. And this exam should come earlier if you have a family history of the disease. Doctor Lactose says if current trends continue, the number of diabetic re-tin-opathy cases will double by 20-50.

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