Diabetic retinopathy is a disorder of the retinal blood vessels resulting from diabetes mellitus. The incidence of diabetic retinopathy increases with the duration of diabetes. About 90% of patients having diabetes for 15 years or more will have some blood vessel damage in their eyes and a percentage of these are at risk of developing blindness.
In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, bleeding and leakage of fatty deposits from the blood vessels in the retina causes the retina to swell, which can result in blurred vision.
In more advanced diabetic retinopathy, abnormal blood vessels begin to grow along the surface of the retina and out into the vitreous gel inside the eye. These new vessels are fragile and often begin to bleed, producing sudden, painless cloudy vision known as vitreous hemorrhage and further damage to the retina. New vessels also sometimes grow on the iris, blocking the normal drainage of the eye and causing increased eye pressure and eventually glaucoma.
Anyone with diabetes. The longer someone has diabetes, the more likely he or she will get diabetic retinopathy. Between 40-45 percent of those with diagnosed diabetes have some degree of diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic retinopathy is classified as either non-proliferative (background) or proliferative. Non-proliferative retinopathy is the early stage, where small retinal blood vessels break and leak.
In proliferative retinopathy, new blood vessels grow abnormally within the retina. This new growth can cause scarring or retinal detachment, which can lead to vision loss. The new blood vessels may also grow or bleed into the vitreous humor, the transparent gel filling the eyeball in front of the retina. Proliferative retinopathy is much more serious than the non-proliferative form and can lead to total blindness.
Keeping your blood sugar at an even level can help prevent diabetic retinopathy. If you have high blood pressure, keeping that under control is helpful as well. Even controlled diabetes can lead to diabetic retinopathy, so you should have your eyes examined once a year; that way, your doctor can begin treating any retinal damage as soon as possible.
Yes. Your eye care professional may suggest laser surgery in which a strong light beam is aimed onto the retina.
Laser surgery and appropriate follow up care can reduce the risk of blindness by 90 percent. However, laser surgery often cannot restore vision that has already been lost, which is why finding diabetic retinopathy early is the best way to prevent vision loss.
The best treatment is to keep your diabetes under control; blood pressure control is also helpful. Your doctor may decide on laser photocoagulation to seal leaking blood vessels and destroy new blood vessel growth. If blood gets into the vitreous humor, your doctor might want to perform a procedure called a vitrectomy. These days various injections into or around the eye also help in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy; of course, they are usually utilized as adjuncts to laser photocoagulation or surgery.
Shekar Eye Hospital can help you cure your diabetic retinopathy using the latest, international standard tools and treatment methods. Our specialized ophthalmologists understand the symptoms and the nature of disease in each patient and prescribe a solution that provides optimum results.
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