Diabetes and Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetes is a disease that affects the body’s ability to produce or use insulin effectively to control blood sugar (glucose) levels. Although glucose is an important source of energy for the body’s cells, too much glucose in the blood for a long time can cause damage in many parts of the body, including the heart, kidneys, blood vessels and the small blood vessels in the eyes.
When the blood vessels in the eye’s retina swell, leak fluid or close off completely - or if abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina - it is called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy can progress without you knowing that your eyesight is being affected until it is too late and you have lost a significant amount of your vision.
Being overweight can increase your risk of diabetes. Exercise, especially aerobic exercise, is important for your whole body.