Diabetic Retinopathy

Learn about Diabetic Retinopathy stages, symptoms and everything that can go wrong with Diabetic eye problems

What is Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disorder that causes the blood vessels in your retina to become weaker.

Changes in the blood vessels of the retina, the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the inner eye, produce diabetic retinopathy. The blood vessels in the retina of some patients with diabetic retinopathy may enlarge and leak fluid. In others, aberrant new blood vessels form on the retina’s surface.

types of Diabetic Retinopathy


What types of Diabetic Retinopathy exist

Diabetic retinopathy is classified into two types:

  1. NPDR (nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy): People in this early stage of the illness have blood vessels that leak in the retina. The most prevalent type of the illness, referred to as ‘Nonproliferative Diabetic Retinopathy,’ is the early stage of DR in which there is no aberrant development of blood vessels (proliferation).
  2. PDR (proliferative diabetic retinopathy): As the condition advances, aberrant blood vessels proliferate in response to ischemia. This aberrant proliferation of blood vessels inside the retina also drives the creation of scar tissue, which may ultimately result in retinal detachment from the back of the eye.

What are Diabetic Retinopathy Symptoms

You might have diabetic retinopathy and be completely unaware of it. This is due to the fact that it often exhibits no symptoms in its early stages. As diabetic retinopathy worsens, you may experience symptoms such as:

  • seeing an increase in the amount of floaters
  • having hazy eyesight
  • having eyesight that shifts from fuzzy to clear at times
  • seeing blank or dark spots in your range of view
  • a lack of night vision
  • observing that colors are faded or bleached out
  • eyesight deterioration

Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy commonly affect both eyes.

Diabetic Retinopathy Symptoms
Diabetic Retinopathy causes

What causes Diabetic Retinopathy

Although retinopathy may be caused by a variety of medical diseases (e.g., sickle cell disease, lupus), diabetes and hypertension are the most frequent (high blood pressure).

  • Diabetes-related retinopathy is caused by elevated blood sugar levels. Too much sugar in your bloodstream may damage your retina over time — the area of your eye that detects light and transmits information to your brain through a nerve in the back of your eye (optic nerve).
  • Diabetes causes blood vessels all throughout the body to deteriorate. Sugar causes harm to your eyes by clogging the small blood vessels that go to your retina, causing them to leak fluid or hemorrhage. To compensate for the clogged blood vessels, your eyes produce new blood vessels that do not function properly. These developing blood arteries might readily leak or bleed.

How to detect Diabetic Retinopathy disease

A dilated eye exam is the most accurate approach to identify diabetic retinopathy. During this test, the physician inserts drops in the eyes to dilate (open wide) the pupils, allowing a clearer view of the interior of the eye, particularly the retinal tissue.

The following are the things the doctor will check for:

  • Swelling of the retina that jeopardizes eyesight (diabetic macular edema)
  • Evidence of inadequate blood vessel circulation in the retina (retinal ischemia, pronounced iss KEY me uh)
  • Blood vessels that are abnormal and may indicate a higher risk of generating new blood vessels
  • Scar tissue or new blood vessels on the retina’s surface (proliferative diabetic retinopathy)
detect Diabetic Retinopathy disease
treatments for Diabetic Retinopathy

What treatments are available for Diabetic Retinopathy

  • Mild or severe nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy may not need immediate treatment.
  • Diabetic retinopathy Injecting eye medicines These drugs, termed VEGF inhibitors, slow the formation of new blood vessels and reduce fluid accumulation. The FDA has authorized ranibizumab (Lucentis) and aflibercept as treatments for diabetic macular edema (Eylea).
  • Photocoagulation. This laser therapy may halt or delay blood and fluid leaking in the eye. Laser burns are used to cure aberrant blood vessel leakage.
  • It is normally done in one session at your doctor’s office or eye clinic. If you have macular edema and had hazy vision before surgery, the therapy may not restore your eyesight, but it may slow the progression of macular edema.
  • Photocoagulation of the retina This laser therapy may shrink aberrant blood vessels. The method involves distributed laser burns on the retina distant from the macula. The burns shrink and scar the aberrant new blood vessels.
  • Vitrectomy. Using a small incision in your eye, this operation removes blood and scar tissue from the vitreous (middle of the eye).

Who is most vulnerable to Diabetic Eye Disease (DED)

Diabetic retinopathy may affect people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

You’re more at danger if:

  • long-term diabetic
  • having chronically high blood sugar
  • having hypertension
  • high cholesterol
  • Pregnant
  • Uncontrollable diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Asian, African, Native American, or Hispanic
Diabetic Eye Disease (DED)
Diabetic Retinopathy an emergency

Is Diabetic Retinopathy an emergency

New blood vessel development may create retinal scar tissue. Scar tissue shrinkage may distort and pull the retina out of position. 4

A little piece of the retina may be detached with no symptoms. However, a bigger amount removed may cause:

  • Floaters on the rise
  • Light flashes
  • A black shadow or “curtain” between your eyes
  • Any retinal detachment symptoms should necessitate immediate medical intervention. This is a medical emergency that requires quick attention.

What devices are available for Retinopathy due to Diabetis

  • The D-Eye gadget is a magnetically connected portable optical device that allows vision of the fundus without the need of a handheld condensing lens.
  • The Ocular CellScope consists of a phone, a housing for the lighting and collecting optics, and a holder for the optics to line with the phone’s camera.
  • These devices are existing or under development. With the iExaminer (Welch Allyn) adapter system, an ophthalmoscope with a 25-degree field of vision is connected to a smartphone with the iExaminer app.
  • The HORUS Scope and SmartScope Pro are all-in-one gadgets that met the criterion. They are portable, user-friendly, and propose a simpler way to see the retina.
  • The SmartScope Pro, marketed in the US as Pictor Plus, is an FDA-approved nonmydriatic portable fundus camera (40 degrees field of view) with low flash intensity and video recording functionality.
devices are available for Retinopathy
treat Diabetic Retinopathy

What happens if you don't treat Diabetic Retinopathy

If you do not treat it right away you may end up with a severe condition. Diabetic retinopathy is characterized into four stages: mild, moderate, severe nonproliferative, and proliferative.

  • There will be balloon-like swelling in limited sections of the blood vessels in the retina in the first stage, moderate nonproliferative.
  • Some of the blood vessels in the retina get blocked in the second stage, termed as mild nonproliferative retinopathy.
  • The third stage, severe nonproliferative retinopathy, causes more blocked blood vessels, resulting in parts of the retina getting insufficient blood supply. The retina cannot generate new blood vessels to replace injured ones if normal blood flow is not maintained.
  • Proliferative retinopathy is the fourth and final stage. This is the disease’s advanced stage. In the retina, new blood vessels will begin to form, but they will be frail and aberrant. As a result, they may leak blood, resulting in vision loss and possibly blindness.

Who can help with treating Diabetic Retinopathy

  • Maintain a healthy blood sugar level with the assistance of your doctor. Every year, or as advised by your doctor, get a comprehensive eye checkup. Even if you have diabetic retinopathy, you can avoid vision loss by doing these things.
  • Anti-VEGF medications have the potential to reduce or reverse diabetic retinopathy. Other medications known as corticosteroids may also be beneficial. Treatment using a laser. Eye physicians may employ lasers to constrict blood vessels and halt leaks in the retina to minimize edema.
  • Diabetic retinopathy is incurable. However, therapy works very effectively in preventing, delaying, or reducing vision loss. The earlier a problem is identified, the simpler it is to cure. And there’s a better chance that vision will be preserved.
  • For preserving the retina and choroid, optimal combinations of vitamins B1, B2, B6, L-methylfolate, methylcobalamin (B12), C, D, natural vitamin E complex, lutein, zeaxanthin, alpha-lipoic acid, and n-acetylcysteine have been discovered. Certain medicinal foods have been used effectively as retinopathy treatment.
treating Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic Retinopathy conditions

Is everyone going to get Diabetic Retinopathy at some point

Nearly one out of every three diabetics will develop retinopathy, which is damage to the blood vessels in the retina. That’s the line behind your eye. The most common kind of retinopathy is non-proliferative retinopathy, which does not generally endanger your vision.

Diabetes patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are at a higher risk of ocular problems and blindness. Diabetes-related vision loss, on the other hand, is not unavoidable. Increasing your understanding of vision health and practicing preventive measures will help you keep your eyesight for many years to come.

Preventing Diabetic Eye Disease in 5 Easy Steps

  • Visit us at least once a year for a dilated eye exam.
  • Control your blood sugar like an expert.
  • Maintain a healthy blood pressure and cholesterol level.
  • Eat wisely and exercise on a regular basis….

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