Diabetic Retinopathy

Publish Date:Dec 19, 2013

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The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. A healthy retina is necessary for good vision. Diabetes is a disease that interferes with the body's ability to use and store sugar, which can cause many health problem. Too much sugar in the blood can cause damage throughout the body, including the eyes. Over time, diabetes affects the circulatory system of the retina. Diabetes may face complication in vision.

 

Diabetic retinopathy is the result of damage to the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina. They leak blood and other fluids that cause swelling of retinal tissue and clouding of vision. The condition usually affects both eyes. The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely they will develop diabetic retinopathy. If it is not treated at time, diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness.


WHAT ARE THE INVESTIGATIONS TO EVALUATE THE DAMAGE OF DRP?


Once Diabetic Retinopathy is recognized, some investigations like Fluorescein Angiography (FFA) or OCT tests may be required to assess the extent of diabetic damage, document them and plan future treatment. These investigations are advanced imaging techniques to demonstrate and evaluate the damage caused by DRP. These tests are performed over a matter of few minutes and do not require any admission or hospitalization. Based on the report of the above mentioned tests, we can plan the treatment i.e. some lasers to seal the leaking vessels or some intraocular injections can also be employed. Both of these are again OPD procedures and would not require hospitalizations.

There is no cure for diabetic retinopathy. However, laser treatment (photocoagulation) and/or certain injections into the eye can be very effective at preventing vision loss if it is done before severe retina damage. Surgical removal of the vitreous gel (vitrectomy) may also help in improving vision if the retina has not been severely damaged. However, in advance cases of hemorrhage or severe retinal damage, some surgical intervention or admission may be required but that too with varying post-operative success. Hence, DRP is best diagnosed and treated at the earliest.

HOW TO AVOID DIABETIC RETINOPATHY?


One can avoid damage to the retina by keeping blood sugar and blood pressure levels near normal. This can slow the progress of retinopathy and prevent vision loss. It is strongly recommended to have an eye examination by an eye specialist every year. Screening for diabetic retinopathy and other eye problems will not prevent diabetic eye disease but it helps you avoid vision loss by early detection and treatment. Consult an eye doctor immediately if a change in your vision occurs. Changes in your vision may be the symptoms of serious damage to the retina. In most cases, the sooner the problem is detected, the more effective the treatment will be.


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