Part of the show Science of Sight, Eye Diseases and Animal Vision
Connor in Tillingham asked:
I've got diabetic retinopathy in both eyes and I was wondering if there was any evidence that if you get your sugar levels just right, the blood vessels will repair themselves?
I'm not sure whether they can repair themselves but what seems to be the case is that if you keep your blood sugar very well controlled, the chance that you will develop severe diabetic retinopathy is reduced. So it's well worth trying to keep your diabetes extremely well controlled. You can stop it getting worse rather than reversing the damage you already have. Once the blood vessels have started to proliferate in the retina, then we know that they can be lasered with a very high energy laser and they can be destroyed. This prevents them from causing the damage that they would otherwise have caused to the retinal function.