Diabetes occurs when the blood glucose level is too high. Normally, the pancreas produces a hormone called insulin to allow the body to absorb the glucose in the blood and energize the body’s cells. However, this does not happen in a diabetic and has severe repercussions in the eye.
One repercussion is diabetic retinopathy. This occurs when chronically high blood sugar damages the blood vessels in the retina and the vessels hemorrhage, distorting vision. In its most advanced stages, new blood vessels proliferate, damaging the retina further.
People with all types of diabetes (Type 1, Type 2, or gestational diabetes) are at risk for the disease and the risk continues as long as one has diabetes. Between 40 and 45 percent of Americans diagnosed with diabetes have some stage of diabetic retinopathy.
For more information on diabetic retinopathy, check out the website of The National Institute of Health.