Diabetic retinopathy is a diabetic complication that affects the eyes. It is caused by damage to the blood vessels of light sensitive tissue in the back of the eye (retina). At first, diabetic retinopathy can cause symptoms or mild vision problems. Eventually, it can cause blindness.
You may not have symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. As the condition progresses, symptoms of diabetic retinopathy may include:
– Dots or dark chains floating in your vision (floats)
– Blurry vision
– fluctuating vision
– Poor vision of color.
– Dark or empty areas in your vision
– Loss of vision
Over time, too much sugar in your blood can lead to clogging of the small blood vessels that nourish the retina, cutting off your blood supply. As a result, the eye tries to develop new blood vessels. But these new blood vessels do not develop properly and can be easily filtered.
Anyone with diabetes may develop diabetic retinopathy. The risk of developing eye condition may increase as a result of:
– Duration of diabetes: The longer you have diabetes, the greater your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.
– Poor control of your blood sugar level.
– High blood pressure
– High cholesterol
– The pregnancy
– Be black, Hispanic or Native American
If you have diabetes, reduce your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy by doing the following:
– Manage your diabetes
– Control your blood sugar
– Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control.
– If you smoke or use other types of tobacco, ask your doctor to help you quit smoking
– Pay attention to the changes of vision.
– Ask your doctor about a glycosylated hemoglobin test
The treatment, which depends heavily on the type of diabetic retinopathy that suffers and how severe it is, is aimed at slowing or stopping the progression of the condition.
1. Early diabetic retinopathy.
If you have mild or moderate non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy, you may not need treatment right away. However, your eye doctor will closely monitor your eyes to determine when you may need treatment. When diabetic retinopathy is mild or moderate, a good control of blood sugar can usually delay progression.
2. advanced diabetic retinopathy
If you have proliferative diabetic retinopathy or macular edema, you will need immediate surgical treatment.
Focal laser treatment
This laser treatment, also known as photocoagulation, can stop or decrease the leakage of blood and fluid in the eye. During the procedure, leaks of abnormal blood vessels are treated with laser burns.
Laser treatment of dispersion
This laser treatment, also known as panrethane photocoagulation, can reduce abnormal blood vessels. During the procedure, areas of the retina away from the macula are treated with scattered laser burns. Burns cause the new abnormal blood vessels to shrink and heal.
This procedure uses a small incision in the eye to remove the blood from the middle of the eye (vitreous) as well as the scar tissue that is pulling the retina. It is performed in a surgical center or hospital with local or general anesthesia.
Video credits to Diabetes zone YouTube channel