Patient Awareness

Diabetic Retinopathy: Common Causes & Treatment

Diabetic Retinopathy
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As the topic suggests, Diabetic Retinopathy is basically a condition caused when diabetes begins to affect the retina. This condition in particular causes a lot of damage to the blood vessels which results in leakage of blood or fragile new blood vessel growth.

This happens in extreme cases of diabetes as here, when the nerve cells are damaged, vision is impaired. The consequences of the condition can result in impaired vision, haemorrhage in the eye or worse, retinal detachment.

Symptoms

Most often you might not realize it until the symptoms start getting severe. The most common symptoms for diabetic retinopathy are:

  1. Blurred vision or loss of vision
  2. Colour blindness
  3.  Black spots in normal vision
  4. Central vision starts to appear blurry while reading

Causes

When diabetic retinopathy is not spotted, the blood sugar level in the body keeps rising to such an extent where it starts to affect the retina. The healthy retina slowly starts losing all the small blood vessels which results in retinal weakening. This might also result in another condition called Macular Edema which makes the vision blurry.

As more and more blood vessels get blocked, it builds a lot of pressure on the eye and eventually leads to more severe problems in the eye which will be harder to treat or rectify.

Diagnosis & Treatment

An eye doctor can easily figure out if you are suffering from diabetic retinopathy through a simple pupil test. Careful assessment of retina can also indicate the severity of the problem & help in identifying the solution for the same.

Most recommended solution in most of the diagnosed cases for treatment is photocoagulation. Photocoagulation is a process which eliminates the excess blood which is leaking into the retina. It is not a painful procedure but it doesn’t guarantee colour restoration.  Vitrectomy is another procedure that you might have to undergo but this is limited to only those patients in whom the blood has leaked to vitreous humor of the eye.

Your doctor will recommend the best path towards recovery depending on the severity of your condition.

Therefore, keep in mind that if you are diabetic, visit you doctor at least once a year for a complete eye exam. If you are diabetic and pregnant, make sure to get checked during first trimester itself.

To know how to adopt a healthy lifestyle to deal with diabetes, read here- 7 Important Precautions to Avoid Diabetes

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