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Diabetic Retinopathy

How does diabetes affect the eye?

The eye is one of many organs which can be affected by diabetes. The most common result is earlier onset of cataracts.

A more serious condition is diabetic retinopathy, which occurs when the retina (the nervous layer at the back of the eye) is affected. This is a sight threatening condition. New blood vessels grow on the retina, as a result of diabetes, and these can lead to retinal detachment or leakage in the macula.

Diabetic Retinopathy


How is diabetic eye disease treated?

This depends on the duration and severity of the disease. If detected early, diabetic retinopathy can be treated with LASER in the consultation room. If more advanced, surgery must be performed on the retina, also combined with LASER treatment.

This must be performed by a specially trained vitreoretinal surgeon, and can be done at the eye hospital at the Garden Route Eye Clinic.

If I have diabetes, do I need to see an eye specialist even if I have good vision?

Yes. Because early detection of diabetic eye disease is of utmost importance, everyone who has diabetes must see an eye specialist at least every year. This is because you may not be aware of any symptoms when the disease starts.

During this visit your pupils will usually be dilated to enable the ophthalmologist to see your entire retina. For this reason someone must drive you to the appointment, as driving is not permitted after the pupils are dilated for the rest of the day.


More than half a century's worth of combined practice, professionalism, and utmost dedication to their fields of expertise assure patients that they're in the hands of experienced ophthalmologists.



The George Surgical Centre, established in 2012, is a world-class day hospital dedicated to modern Eye Surgery. Other procedures such as Cosmetic Surgery, is also performed here. Easy access via George Airport enables service delivery to patients from other areas outside the Southern Cape.



Garden Route Eye Clinic is equipped to perform specialist eye treatment and advanced eye surgery. We utilise only the latest methods and modern equipment to ensure that our patients receive the best possible eye treatment.


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