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Rohan J. Shah

Q: Can diabetes affect my eyesight?

A: Diabetic retinopathy is the most common complication of diabetes and is the leading cause of preventable blindness. Poor sugar control and diabetes' long duration place patients at higher risk for developing visual problems. In fact, 99 percent of insulin-dependent diabetics and 60 percent of non-insulin dependent diabetics will develop signs of diabetic retinopathy after having diabetes for 20 years. The leading preventative measures are strict sugar control and regular dilated eye exams to screen for retinopathy. If found to have retinopathy or macular swelling, which affects central vision, close follow-up and treatment with medications or lasers are optimal for preserving vision.

- Dr. Rohan J. Shah, Southeastern Retina Associates; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society

Send your health-related questions to wholloway@timesfreepress.com.

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