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Diabetic Retinopathy
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Everyone who has diabetes is at risk for developing diabetic retinopathy, but not all diabetics to develop it. In its early stages, person may not notice any change in the vision, but it can lead to the later, sight-threatening form of the disease. Patients with diabetes are more likely to develop eye problems such as cataracts and glaucoma but the disease’s affect on the retina is the main threat to vision.

Causes of Diabetic Retinopathy

Most patients develop diabetic changes in the retina after approximately 20 years. The effect of diabetes on the eye is called Diabetic retinopathy. Overtime, the diabetes affects the circulatory system of the retina.

The earliest phase of the disease is known as background diabetic retinopathy. In this phase, the arteries in the retina become weakened and leak, forming small, dot-like hemorrhages. These leaks vessels lead to swelling or oedema in the retina and decreased vision.

The next stage is known as Proliferative diabetic retinopathy. In this stage, the circulation problems cause areas of the retina to become oxygen deprived or ischemic.

New, fragile vessels develop as the circulatory system attempts to maintain adequate oxygen levels within the retina. This is called neovascularization. Unfortunately, these delicate vessels hemorrhage easily. Blood may leak into the retina and vitreous, along with decreased vision. In the later phases of the diseases, continued abnormal vessel growth and scar tissue growth and scar tissue may cause serious problems such as retinal detachment and glaucoma.

Signs and symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

The affect of Diabetic retinopathy on vision varies widely, depending on the stage of the disease. Some common symptoms of diabetic retinopathy are like floaters and flashes.

Sometimes difficult in reading o doing close work can indicate that the fluid is collecting in the macula, the most light-sensitive part of the retina. This fluid build up is called macular edema. Another sign is double vision, which occurs when the nerves controlling the eye muscles are affected.

So, the diabetics should see their eye doctor atleast once a year for a dilated eye exam. An eye doctor may diagnose retinopathy, using a special test called fluorescein angiography. In this text, the dye is injected into the body and then gradually appears within the retina due to blow flow.

Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is treated in many ways depending on the stage of the disease. Researchers have found that 95% of those people with significant diabetic retinopathy can avoid substantial vision loss if they are treated in time.

Diabetic retinopathy can be treated with laser photocoagulation does not cause pain, because the retina does not contain nerve endings. In some patients, blood leaks into the vitreous humour and clouds vision. A procedure called a vitrectomy removes blood that has leaked into the vitreous humour.

The body gradually replaces lost vitreous humour and vision usually improves. Diabetic patients who are able to maintain appropriate blood sugar levels have fewer eye problems than those with poor control. Diet and exercise play important role in this overall health of those with diabetes. Diabetics can also greatly reduce the possibilities of eye complication by getting routine examination by ophthalmologist.


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