This article talks about the importance of eye examination in diabetics to prevent diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetes is one of the most common diseases and it causes diabetic retinopathy which is one of the leading causes of blindness. The only way to prevent diabetic retinopathy is by having regular eye examinations to look for the onset of symptoms and treat it in the early stages.
Diabetic retinopathy results from microangiopathy affecting the small blood vessels of the retina, resulting in ischemia, new blood vessel formation, and hemorrhages.
The risk factors for the development of diabetic retinopathy are:
Diabetic retinopathy will lead to visual impairment depending on the stage. In the initial stages, mild to moderate visual impairment is seen because of retinal edema and retinal hemorrhages. In the advanced stages, severe visual impairment is seen because of vitreous hemorrhage and retinal detachment.
The treatment of diabetic retinopathy is by the use of laser photocoagulation by a procedure called as pan-retinal photocoagulation to remove the ischemia and to prevent the development of new blood vessels.
Hence all diabetics should undergo eye examination once a year to diagnose diabetic retinopathy in its earlier stages and to treat it by laser photocoagulation, thus preventing blindness.
At each visit, the ophthalmologist performs an examination of the retina by a procedure called indirect ophthalmoscopy to assess the state of the retina. Further treatment is planned depending on the severity of the condition.
Diabetes retinopathy is a complication of uncontrolled diabetes. It can lead to a state where blindness can also occur. The increased glucose levels in the blood can cause damage to the retina. If you have diabetes, then you have to be extra-careful.
The reason for the occurrence of diabetic retinopathy is increased blood sugar level. This sugar level can cause blockage in the blood vessels of the retina. Even the small blood vessels get damaged. This blockage can result in complicated conditions like diabetic retinopathy.
All diabetic patients are not affected by diabetic retinopathy. Most of the patients with type 1 diabetes are known to be affected. A small percentage of type 2 diabetes patients are affected by diabetic retinopathy. In untreated cases, the condition proceeds into a more complicated stage and will result in blindness.
The four stages of diabetic retinopathy are categorized as:
- Mild nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy.
- Moderate nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy.
- Severe nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy.
- Proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
A patient with diabetic retinopathy might see spots floating in the vision. It might give blurred vision, and the vision would not be stable for an individual. You can get help from an ophthalmologist to improve your vision.
No, it is not possible to reverse diabetic retinopathy. It is possible to take precautionary measures to prevent the ill effects. By practicing certain exercises, blurred vision can be overcome.
Medical reports suggest that patients who are affected by diabetic retinopathy have poor night vision. Most of them manage to drive well during the morning time. Due to the alterations in the vision during the day and night time, they are not recommended to drive.
The condition of retinopathy can be treated with the help of the following options.
- Vitrectomy. It is a surgical procedure in which vitreous humor is removed.
- Photocoagulation. The method of photocoagulation is a laser treatment that can prevent the leakage of the fluid and blood.
- Panretinal photocoagulation.
The blurring of the vision is usually seen in diabetic patients. When there is an elevation in the level of blood sugar, the water in the body is dragged into the eyes that might result in swelling. This swelling will cause the vision to get blurred. It might take more than six weeks for the swelling to subside.
The first stage of diabetic retinopathy is known as mild nonproliferative retinopathy. It is also known as background retinopathy. It might result in bulging of the tiny blood vessels that can result in leakage of the blood into the retinal areas.
Diabetic retinopathy is very hard to cure. There is no complete cure for diabetes in most cases, so there is no recovery from diabetic retinopathy. It is necessary to follow preventive measures to overcome the ill effects of the condition.
There are two best methods for treating diabetic retinopathy. They are:
- Injections in the eye. The injections in the eye can help in treating maculopathy.
- Laser Treatment. The laser treatment in the eye is beneficial for relieving the proliferative conditions of diabetic retinopathy.
Last reviewed at:
15 Sep 2018 - 1 min read
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