Diabetic Retinopathy

Dr. Sieving tells listeners about exciting research on diabetic retinopathy, a disease that can damage tiny blood vessels inside the eyes of people with diabetes.

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DR. RODGERS: If you have diabetes, you are at risk for eye problems that can lead to vision loss.

Hi, I'm Dr. Griffin Rodgers, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at NIH.

My colleague, Dr. Paul Sieving, director of the National Eye Institute, explains:

DR. SIEVING: Diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels of the retina inside the eye. This damage is called diabetic retinopathy. This is the most common cause of vision loss in people with diabetes. That's why people with diabetes should get a thorough eye exam at least once a year. The good news is that research has found that the risk for developing diabetic retinopathy can be cut in half by controlling your blood sugar level. And new therapy with anti-VEGF drugs can block growth of abnormal blood vessels in the eye, and may even reverse some vision loss.

Managing your diabetes will have a lasting and positive benefit for your eyes.

DR. RODGERS: Follow us on Twitter @HealthyMoments.

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