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Prevention of Diabetic Retinopathy

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Prevention of Diabetic Retinopathy

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This article talks about the importance of eye examination in diabetics to prevent diabetic retinopathy.

Written by

Dr. Dadapeer. K

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Preetha. J

Published At May 29, 2014
Reviewed AtMay 10, 2023

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:

  • Duration of diabetes: more the duration of diabetes, more the incidence of diabetic retinopathy.
  • Control of diabetes: better the control of diabetes, less are the chances of development of diabetic retinopathy.
  • Co-existing factors: the presence of a positive family history of diabetes and co-existing diseases like hypertension, hyperlipidemia will increase the chance of diabetic retinopathy.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

What is the role of a hematologist?

Physicians who specialize in preventing, diagnosing, and treating patients with disorders of the blood and lymphatic system are called hematologists. If you have a disease affecting the blood cells, bone marrow, spleen, and lymph nodes, you will be referred to a hematologist.

2.

What conditions does a hematologist treat?

Hemophilia, sepsis, leukemia, anemia, thalassemia, deep vein thrombosis, and lymphoma are the common conditions treated by a hematologist.

3.

What are the tests that a hematologist does?

Hematologists use the following tests to diagnose blood disorders:
- Complete blood count.
- Prothrombin time (PT).
- Partial thromboplastin time (PTT).
- International normalized ratio (INR).
- Bone marrow biopsy.

4.

What are the early signs of blood cancer?

The early signs of blood cancer are:
- Fever.
- Chills.
- Weakness.
- Frequent infections.
- Nosebleeds.
- Petechiae (red tiny spots on the skin).
- Bone tenderness.
- Easy bruising.

5.

What are the different types of blood cancer?

The main types of blood cancer are:
- Leukemia - Cancer of the blood and bone marrow.
- Lymphoma - Cancer affecting the lymphatic system.
- Myeloma - Cancer of the blood’s plasma cells.

6.

When to consult a hematologist?

If you are experiencing symptoms such as severe bleeding after a minor injury, heavy menstruation, nosebleeds, easy bruising, blood in urine, and tiny red dots on the skin, it is best to consult a hematologist, as these are common signs of blood disorder.

7.

Can a hematologist treat cancer?

Some hematologists treat blood cancers. They do not treat operable cancers but diagnose and treat blood cancers like leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.

8.

How does a hematologist diagnose lymphoma?

A hematologist diagnoses lymphoma through examining enlarged lymph nodes or spleen, lymph node biopsy, bone marrow aspiration, or performing imaging tests like CT scan, MRI, or PET scan.
Source Article IclonSourcesSource Article Arrow
Dr. Dadapeer. K
Dr. Dadapeer. K

Ophthalmology (Eye Care)

Tags:

laser photocoagulationdiabetic retinopathyeye examinationmicroangiopathy
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