Researchers have found the occurrence diabetic retinopathy in a number of people with pre-diabetic conditions for diabetes type 2.
Diabetes type 2 happens when body cannot use its own insulin to control blood sugar. As this happens the body becomes unable to produce enough insulin to overcome insulin resistance and keep up to the need of the body. Pre-diabetes conditions exist when there are high levels of blood glucose existent in patients, but the levels are not high enough to be called diabetes. This phase is also called impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose. People in such conditions are at increases risk from diabetes type 2, cardiovascular attacks and stroke.
The occurrence of diabetic retinopathy in people in the condition of impaired glucose tolerance suggests that changes in the eyes due to blood glucose levels may be starting at an earlier stage than thought before. Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common causes of blindness in adults. This condition begins with changes in the blood vessels at the back of the eye leading to loss of vision. Early diagnosis of the condition can lead to treatment with the help of laser photocoagulation that can prevent the onset of blindness in patients.
Reference: National Institutes of Health, Press release, June 2005