Video: Australians with diabetes at risk of blindness

Did you know that diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in working age Australians?

Diabetes is the epidemic of the 21st century and the biggest challenge confronting Australia's health system. Around 1.7 million Australians have diabetes. This includes all types of diagnosed diabetes (1.2 million known and registered) as well as silent, undiagnosed type 2 diabetes (up to 500,000 estimated).

The most common complication of diabetes is Diabetic Retinopathy, which affects the eyes. It’s caused by damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eye. If left untreated, it can cause blindness.

As part of your eye examination it is common for your optometrist to put eye drops in your eyes when checking for diabetic retinopathy. They may need to take a photograph of your retina for comparison at your next eye examination.

If you are diabetic, your optometrist may need to see you more often than once every two years. Find an optometrist near you here.

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