Diabeitc Retinopathy: causes and Symptoms
Bangalore Nethralaya Super Specialaity Eye Hospital
Kalyan nagar, Bengaluru Feb 9, 2017
WHAT IS DIABETIC RETINOPATHY?
Excess sugar in your blood can cause the blockage of the tiny blood vessels that provide nourishment to the retina, blocking its blood supply. This causes the eye to grow new blood vessels that don't develop properly and may leak easily.
There are two types of diabetic retinopathy:
Early diabetic retinopathy: Also known as non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy, this causes the walls of the blood vessels in your retina to weaken. This condition can progress from mild to severe, as more blood vessels become blocked.
Advanced diabetic retinopathy: Diabetic retinopathy can progress to a more severe form, known as proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Here, damaged blood vessels close off, causing the growth of new and abnormal blood vessels in the retina that leak into the clear, jelly-like substance that fills the centre of our eye (vitreous).
As your condition worsens, the symptoms may include:
- Blurred vision
- Patchy vision
- Fluctuating or worsening vision
- Impaired color vision
- Dark or empty areas in your vision
- Vision loss
- Floaters in your vision
- Eye pain
- Redness in the eye
- If you have had diabetes for a long time
- Have a high blood sugar level
- Have high blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Tobacco use
An eye examination will usually tell if you have diabetic retinopathy. The doctor will dilate your pupils to check for any changes in blood vessels or to see if new ones have formed. The doctor will also check to see if your retina is swollen or has become detached.
Treatment depends on the type and severity of the diabetic retinopathy. Proliferative retinopathy may need quick surgical treatment. Some options are:
- Photocoagulation: It is a procedure that is done to seal or destroy growing and leaking blood vessels in the retina, near the macula. It is usually not painful, but you may experience reduced night vision.
- Vitrectomy: If your blood vessels leak into your retina and vitreous humor (the jelly-like substance that fills the eyeball), you may need to undergo a vitrectomy. This procedure removes the vitreous gel from the middle of the eye so that you can see well.
Your doctor will tell you which treatment is best for you as per the severity of the diabetic retinopathy.