Diabetic Retinopathy treatment
Diabetic retinopathy is a serious complication of diabetes that effects the eyes. It is caused by damage of the blood vessels of the retina (the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye). Diabetic retinopathy may be left unnoticed because at first, it causes only mild problems. But if not looked after properly, diabetic retinopathy may lead to blindness. Anyone with type 1 or type 2 diabetes can get diabetic retinopathy.
It’s very well possible to have diabetic retinopathy without even knowing it, especially in the early stages. When the condition progresses, common symptoms could be:
- Blurry vision
- Spots or dark strings in your vision
- Fluctuating vision
- Difficultly with color perception
- Dark of empty areas in your vision
- Vision loss
Causes of diabetic retinopathy
Elevated blood glucose levels affect the eyes and can cause diabetic retinopathy. The blood glucose can damage the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina. The blood vessels can become blocked eventually so the retina will not receive any blood supply at all. The eye attempts to grow new blood vessels, but if these don’t develop properly, they can leak and cause a loss of vision and even blindness. Also scar tissue may form which can cause the retina to detach.
Prevention and treatment
To protect your vision, carefully monitor your blood glucose levels. It’s important for people with diabetes to have frequent exams by an eye doctor. The treatment of diabetic retinopathy depends on how severe your condition is. At an early stage, good glucose level monitoring can be enough to slow progression down. If diabetic retinopathy is more advanced, you may need surgical treatment with laser or a vitrectomy. Surgery is often not a cure, but only slows the progression of diabetic retinopathy.