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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What causes diabetic retinopathy?

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    Dr John Ahmar


    Diabetic retinopathy is a clinical manifestation of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It involves damage to the retina of the eye and its associated blood vessels, known as retinopathy. If this condition is not treated it may lead to blindness.
    Diabetic retinopathy is a common clinical complication in patients suffering from diabetes, so much so that approximately 80% of such patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes for at least 10 years (i.e. proliferative diabetic retinopathy) are likely to suffer from it. One pivotal risk factor for developing this condition is uncontrolled blood sugar levels. Obesity is also another relative contraindication to developing this eye disease, also elevated cholesterol levels, hypertension, smoking, and  pregnancy.

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