Australians encouraged to take action to prevent diabetes-related vision loss


For the 1.8 million Australians diagnosed with diabetes[1], it’s estimated around half are at risk of vision loss or blindness without regular eye tests[2] 

This advice is being reinforced in the lead up to World Diabetes Day on Monday 14 November which aims to draw attention to the disease which is the biggest cause of preventable blindness in Australia[1].

If diabetes isn’t managed effectively, people will experience a higher risk of vision loss[2]. Because diabetes is a condition that affects blood vessels all through the body, consistently high blood sugar levels can impact the small blood vessels in the eyes and inner ear[3].

Bupa Optical Optometrist Karen Makin says conditions like diabetic retinopathy – a condition affecting the tiny blood vessels at the back of the eye inside the retina, often give no visual symptoms and can be undetected under normal conditions as changes to eyesight happen slowly over time.

“Symptoms often don’t emerge until the later stages of the condition when people suffer vision loss, experience giddiness or unexpected changes to their weight.

“The good news is that regular eye tests can help detect early signs of diabetes or help detect emerging issues for those already living with the disease,” said Karen.

Through EyeInspect, Bupa Optical customers can access Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled eye tests and tailored reports that break new ground in the early detection of general health problems such as diabetes along with other eye and general health issues.

“Technology such as EyeInspect was developed with the knowledge that the eye is a window into the heart and enables our team to provide people with more information about their general health which they can discuss with their doctor if and when recommended,” said Karen.

For more information on World Diabetes Day visit here.

To book an eye test at a local Bupa Optical store visit here.

[1] https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/mediarelease/ending-preventable-blindness/

[2] https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/diabetes-vision-loss.html

[3] https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/diabetes-hearing-loss.html#:~:text=Diabetes%20can%20lead%20to%20nerve,nerves%20in%20the%20inner%20ear.