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People with diabetes are at risk of blindness and loss of vision because of the disease. There are at least 200,000 people with diabetes in NZ.
Diabetes causes changes in the cells of the retina that result in weakness in the walls of the blood vessels. These tiny blood vessels at the back of the eye begin to bulge and leak oozing blood into the eye. Cellular changes can cause fats and fluid to leak into the surrounding tissues. Resulting damage to the eyes can lead to permanent loss of vision.