Diabetic retinopathy occurs when high blood sugar damages the small part of the retina, i.e the small blood vessels on the retina. There is a risk of having this problem in all people with diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy is a disease in which the eyesight of the patient can go to the eye, ignoring the side effects on the retina of the eye. It can also have an effect on one or both eyes.
How is diabetic retinopathy
Diabetes is a perpetual disease. Many people are aware of the side effects of diabetes on kidney, blood pressure and other parts of the body, but very few people are aware of the side effects of this disease on the eyes. In diabetes patients, if the amount of sugar is not controlled, then they may suffer from diabetic retinopathy. This problem is known when the disease takes serious form.
Early symptoms of retinopathy
- Repeat number of glasses
- White cataract or black cataract
- Recurrent eye infection
- Less visible after getting up in the morning
- Retina hemorrhage
- Headache or sudden loss of eyesight
What type of diabetes retinopathy is there?
There are two types of diabetic retinopathy, background diabetic retinopathy and maculopathy. Background diabetes retinopathy is commonly found in people who have had diabetes for a very long time. At this stage the blood vessels of the retina are very mildly affected. They may swell a little and blood can come out of them. The second maculopathy occurs in people who have a long-term problem of background diabetic retinopathy. When this happens, the ability to see is affected.
- Periodically check the eyes, this test is also necessary in children.
- Control the amount of cholesterol and sugar in the blood.
- If you see symptoms like eyes pain, dark sores, see a doctor immediately.
- A diabetic patient should have their eyes examined at least once a year.
- Get an eye check-up every three months after ten years of diabetes.
Causes and Risk Factors of Diabetic Retinopathy
Why does diabetic retinopathy occur?
Diabetic mellitus causes extraordinary changes in blood sugar (glucose). Glucose is commonly used by the body as a fuel to perform many different functions.
If diabetes is not controlled properly, increased levels of blood sugar accumulate in the blood vessels, thus reducing blood flow to many other organs of the body, including the eye. This causes the eyes to become damaged.
Diabetes retinopathy can also occur due to high blood sugar levels in the blood for a long time. Because the excess of sugar in the blood damages the blood vessels that carry blood to the retina.
The retina is a type of membrane (membrane) that covers the back of the eye. It is highly sensitive to light.
It turns all the light into the eye into a signal, which goes into the brain. This process produces photographs and thus the human eye is able to see.
Diabetic retinopathy also damages blood vessels in retinal tissues. This causes fluid to leak and vision becomes impaired.
After that, it reduces oxygen from the retina and abnormal blood vessels begin to develop. If diabetes is well controlled, the risk of diabetic retinopathy can be reduced.
Avoiding diabetic retinopathy
How to prevent diabetic retinopathy?
- Keeping blood sugar at a normal level for a long period of time can prevent diabetic retinopathy and reduce its risk factors.
- Risk factors for developing diabetic retinopathy can be reduced by taking some precautions, such as:
- Eating healthy and balanced foods, such as reducing salt, fat and sweeteners in food
- Getting your blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly
- Take special care of diabetes by taking help of diet, insulin, medicines and exercise
- Regularly checking blood sugar
- Talk to a doctor about a glycosylated hemoglobin test. The glycosylated hemoglobin test or hemoglobin A1c test shows the average of your blood sugar level over the past few months. For most people, the A1C test aims to be less than 7 percent.
- Regular urine test for ketone levels
- Quit drinking
Complications of diabetic retinopathy:-
What complications can occur from diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy can cause vision problems and even blindness. In most cases it takes serious form within several years.
Some possible complications related to diabetic retinopathy include the following, such as
As soon as new blood vessels begin to form in the retina, the flow of fluid inside the eye stops. The pressure inside the eye increases due to the stoppage of fluid, which increases the risk of eye veins getting damaged and blindness.
A newly developed blood vessel leaks into the eye-filled vitreous gel, which prevents direct light from entering the retina. Symptoms that occur in less severe cases include hyper sensitivity to the main light and not being able to see (blindness) and floaters (seeing blurred objects floating in the sky), etc. If the retina is not damaged due to diabetic retinopathy, then these complications are automatically corrected.
Scar tissue pulls the retina apart from the back of the eye. This usually results in floating points and spots in the sky, visible brightness of the light and severe loss of eyesight etc. If left untreated, it can pose many other risks.
What is the treatment of diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy is a condition in which a person’s retina is damaged due to diabetes. It is one of the most prevalent causes of blindness. The longer you have been suffering from diabetes, the more likely you are to go through it. Changes in the blood vessels of the retina are caused by changes in your blood sugar level. The blood vessels of the retina may be swollen and there may be leakage of fluid behind the eye resulting in diabetic retinopathy. Laser treatment (photocoagulation) is often used to treat diabetic eye disease.
Another way to prevent loss of vision is to remove vitreous gel. Injections of anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) drug or anti-inflammatory drugs may also help in shrinking blood vessels.
However, all these treatments must be done before the retina is severely damaged. Only then are they effective in preventing total vision loss.
If you are suffering from diabetes, early and extra care is recommended to protect yourself and eyes should be looked after properly.
First of all, you should try to control your sugar level by taking proper diet, insulation and exercising regularly for the good of your whole body.
How is diabetic retinopathy treated?
Photocoagulation or laser treatment is done to prevent leakage of blood and fluid into the eye to prevent blood clots in your eye. As soon as you feel trouble with your vision, you should go to the doctor for consultation, the doctor will first detect your disease and then take appropriate steps for that disease. The doctor will treat abnormal blood vessels with a laser burn. It can be treated in one session at your doctor’s eye clinic. In an in vitrectomy, blood is drawn from the middle of your eye (vitreous) by a small incision. Blood is also cleaned from scar tissue that stains the retina.
Treatment of diabetic retinopathy is not sustainable. It can prevent or slow the leakage of fluids and blood, but diabetes is a lifelong condition that should be taken care of throughout your life, and if you do not take care of it properly, this disease can hurt you a lot. There is a possibility of diabetes eye disease again at any time. To prevent this, you should have regular eye check-ups even after surgery and keep the eyes properly.
Treatment and prevention of diabetic retinopathy
Intensive control of blood glucose levels are the primary method of preventing diabetic retinopathy.
Tight control of blood sugar is the only way to prevent ophthalmic complications of diabetes. Therefore, the primary treatment of diabetic retinopathy is tight control over diabetes. In addition, blood pressure and serum lipid levels should be kept as normal as possible.