Diabetic Retinopathy is a condition in diabetes that affects the eyes. It occurs when high blood sugar level damages blood vessels in the retina (layer of tissues that lines back wall of the eye from inside.) The retina is responsible for detecting the light which falls on our eye and converts it into signals that are directed to the brain through the optic nerves. The damaged blood vessels in the retina can leak, swell, or completely close, inhibiting blood circulation. In a more advanced stage, abnormal new blood vessels may proliferate on the surface of the retina. These consequences of damaged blood vessels in the retina can lead to vision loss.
Symptoms of Diabetic retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy remains asymptomatic in its early stage due to which it progresses unnoticed until it affects the vision.
As the condition gets worse, one may notice these symptoms:
- Seeing “floating” spots everywhere
- Having a blurred vision
- Poor night vision
- Impaired color vision
In the absence of prompt treatment, the damage often progresses, increasing the risk of lifelong vision loss.
Who are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy?
Patients of all age groups with diabetes type 1, type 2 and even gestational are at risk for diabetic retinopathy. The risk increases with prolong condition of diabetes. Women who have diabetes or develop the same during pregnancy may notice a rapid beginning or worsening of diabetic retinopathy.
Treatment for diabetic retinopathy
Treatment is strictly based on the diagnosis done by an ophthalmologist. Options for treating diabetic retinopathy may include:
- Diet and lifestyle changes along with medications to control the level of blood sugar and blood pressure.
- Anti-VEGF medication which helps in reducing the swelling of blood vessels in the retina and improving the vision.
- Laser Surgery might be used to seal the leaking blood vessels in retina reducing swelling.
How can people with diabetes prevent vision loss?
Vision impairment or complete vision loss due to diabetic retinopathy is sometimes permanent. However, timely diagnosis and treatment can lower the risk of developing such conditions by 95 percent. As diabetic retinopathy is an asymptomatic condition in its early stage, diabetic patients should get a comprehensive dilated eye examination at least once in a year. Patients with diabetic retinopathy may need more frequent eye examinations. Diabetic women who have conceived should also get a comprehensive dilated eye examination done as soon as possible.
Centre for Eye Care at Sarvodaya Hospital aims to deliver advanced eye care. We excel in treating basic to complex eye diseases utilizing our latest technology and expert team of ophthalmologists. With our state-of-the-art devices, we deliver precision-based diagnosis and treatment for various eye conditions. We ensure complete medical guidance along with the best treatment option to patients, helping them overcome their vision impairments.