Diabetic Retinopathy: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention
- Posted on- Aug 27, 2015
Diabetic retinopathy is a common diabetic eye disease which is caused due to some changes in the blood vessels of the retina. The retina is a light-sensitive tissue that is present is the eye and essential for normal vision. In some cases of diabetic retinopathy, the blood vessels usually swell and leak out the fluid. While in other cases, there is an abnormal growth of new blood vessels on the surface of the retina. This condition normally affects both eyes and longer the person is suffering from diabetes, the more likely they will be affected with diabetic retinopathy.
Causes of Diabetic retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is damage to the retina (innermost layer of the eye) caused by prolonged and inadequate blood glucose control
. The small blood vessels in the retina are damaged and weakened. The early symptom of eye problem
related to diabetes is blurred vision and double vision. It can also cause a severe, permanent loss of vision
. It also increases the risk of developing cataracts
. People suffering from type 1 and type 2 diabetes
are at higher risk of suffering from diabetic retinopathy. The only way to reduce your risk and prevent diabetic retinopathy is to control your blood sugar levels.
Symptoms associated with Diabetic retinopathy
One may not observe any signs or symptoms in the initial stages of the disease. But over time your condition may get worse as the retina gets damaged which ultimately leads to loss of vision. In the later stages of the disease, one may observe symptoms like:
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty with colour perception and night vision
- Fluctuating vision
Treatment options for Diabetic retinopathy
The common treatment options for diabetic retinopathy include:
- Injections: Intravitreal steroid injections or anti-vascular endothelial growth factor injections are given to control diabetic retinopathy.
- Laser treatment: In early stages of retinopathy when there is lack of blood of retina, laser treatment is used.
- Surgery: In later stages surgery is performed which involves removing the blood clot filled vitreous from the centre of the eye and treatment of retina with laser. Then a gas or silicon oil is injected as a substitute to the vitreous into centre of the eye.
- In some cases where there is excessive bleeding in the retina, injections are combined with surgery.
Prevention of Diabetic retinopathy
The single most important thing you can do to prevent long-term complications of diabetes is controlling your blood sugar
. In addition to this, there are few factors that help in reducing your risk of developing complications of diabetes: