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A Common complication for Diabetic Patients

Diabetes is a modern age epidemic disease with India being the diabetes capital globally. Diabetes can cause multiple complications in our body, the prominent one being the vision-threatening retinopathy. Retinopathy is caused by damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the retina.

Even advanced stage diabetic retinopathy can be a silent evil with the patient being asymptomatic.

At Raghudeep Eye Hospital, we provide the preventive and therapeutic type of treatment related to all major problems concerning RETINA including diabetic retinopathy.

With advanced technologies like RETINAL LASERS, INJECTIONS, and SURGICAL VITRECTOMY machines, it is possible to provide satisfactory visual outcomes even in challenging advance stage retinal diseases. Every diabetic patient or his relative should be made aware of all major health problems like Nephropathy (Kidney disease), Retinopathy (Eye Disease) and Neuropathy (Diabetic Foot).

Let us understand Diabetes Retinopathy in detail

• CAUSES FOR DIABETIC RETINOPATHY

Diabetes is a vascular disease affecting small and medium-sized blood vessels throughout our body. Retinopathy occurs because of damage to retinal blood vessels.

There are two types of Diabetic Retinopathy:

  1. Early stage diabetic retinopathy –
    NON-PROLIFERATIVE DIABETIC RETINOPATHY (NPDR)
    This is more common in diabetic patients. When a patient has diabetes, the walls of blood vessels become weaken in the retina. Nerve fibers in the retina may begin to swell. The central part of the retina begins to swell causing MACULAR EDEMA (DME), this condition requires treatment.
  2. Advanced diabetic retinopathy –
    PROLIFERATIVE DIABETIC RETINOPATHY
    Diabetic retinopathy can lead to more severe type. In this type damage blood vessels close off and abnormal blood vessels in the retina. The end result is bleeding in the eye (Vitreous hemorrhage). Also the normal flow of fluid out of the eye, pressure may build up in the eyeball. This can damage the nerve that carries images from your eye to your brain (optic nerve), resulting in glaucoma.

• DIABETIC RETINOPATHY DEVELOPS AT ANY AGE

Retinopathy can develop at a young age especially in TYPE 1 YOUNG DIABETES PATIENTS. Type 2 diabetes patient can have RETINOPATHY at the time of diagnosis of DIABETES.

So irrespective of TYPE 1 or 2 diabetes, every diabetic patient is at risk of developing RETINOPATHY. The longer diabetes, the higher the chances of RETINOPATHY.

• SYMPTOMS

it may occur without any particular symptoms or even with mild vision issues. Eventually, it can convert into blindness if appropriate treatment is not taken at the proper time. The patient may not have symptoms in the early stage of diabetic retinopathy but one can have symptoms indicative of retinopathy like,

  • Floaters (Dark strings floating in your eye)
  • Blurred Vision
  • Fluctuation in vision
  • Hampered color vision
  • Empty areas in vision
  • Vision Loss

* Here we need to know that Diabetic Retinopathy affects both the eyes.

• RISK FACTORS

Developing diabetic retinopathy eye condition can increase the following risk,

  • Long term diabetic history
  • Poor control of sugar level
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Use of excessive Tobacco
  • Kidney disease
  • Any diabetic complication like Neuropathy increases the risk of retinopathy manifold.
  • Common eye complications with RETINOPATHY

• DIABETIC MACULAR EDEMA

Swelling of the central portion of the retina causing blurry vision due to leaky blood vessels in diabetes.

  1. Vitreous Hemorrhage: The new blood vessels bleed inside the eye. Because of this, you may see floaters in your eyes. When this blood covers vitreous cavity it causes loss of vision.
  2. Retinal Detachment: In this situation, the abnormal blood vessels associated with the diabetic retinopathy stimulate the growth of tissue, which can be detached retina from its place resulting in severe vision loss.
  3. Glaucoma: When new blood vessels grow unusually in the front part of the eye and interfere with the normal flow of fluid out of the eye, the eye pressure shoots up resulting in GLAUCOMA.
    – Please note all eye complications of diabetes are treatable and patients can also recover back fruitful vision provided they receive timely treatment.
  4. Blindness: Eventually diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma lead to blindness in the future. This can be untreatable in late stages.

• IN CASE OF DIABETIC RETINOPATHY, HOW TO PREVENT IT?

Diabetic patients should undergo frequent eye checkups as per the direction of an ophthalmologist. And of course, early intervention for vision problems can also help in the prevention of vision loss. If you have diabetes, you can reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy by following certain healthy tips like,

  • Control Diabetes: Stick to a healthy diet and try to follow it on a regular base.
  • Try to maintain moderate activity like walk or aerobics etc.
  • Monitor your blood sugar level: If you are high diabetic than the need to check sugar level regularly. In case of increasing sugar level consult your doctor for further assistance.
  • Control blood pressure and cholesterol: Eating healthy foods, exercising regularly and losing excess weight can help.
  • Pay attention to vision changes: Contact your eye doctor right away if you experience sudden vision changes or your vision becomes blurry or hazy. Apart from this adequate sleep (at least 7 hours) and regular exercise also help.

At RaghudeepEyeHospital we have dedicated entire RETINA DEPARTMENT to provide tender loving care to all diabetes patients.

ABOUT THE EXPERT DOCTOR:

DR. DEEPAK BHOJWANI
M.S., F.M.R.F.
Ophthalmology

Dr. Deepak Bhojwani completed his Masters in Ophthalmology (MS) from M & J Institute of Ophthalmology, BJMC Ahmedabad. Following which he pursued long term Vitreo-Retina surgical fellowship from the prestigious Institute of SANKARA NETHRALAYA, Chennai.He has sound clinical knowledge of vitreoretinal disorders including inflammation and uveitis. He has a keen interest in academics and research. He beliefs in ethical scientific medical care without compromising quality to maximize patient care. He has published more than 15 articles in International Journals.