A Helpful Introduction To Diabetic Retinopathy

A Helpful Introduction To Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disorder that occurs within the eye in patients with diabetes.

Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) is one of the complications that come with diabetes and mainly affects the patients' eyes, specifically the retina. It is very interesting fact that diabetic retinopathy does not usually cause symptoms during the nonproliferative stages so it's possible to have it and not know it. In these stages the blood vessels don't always leak.

Many people don't have symptoms until this eye disease progresses to proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

Therefore it is recommended to visit an eye care specialist or an ophthalmologist who can detect diabetic retinopathy in its earlier stages, before symptoms become apparent.

The four stages of diabetic retinopathy

Stage 1: Mild nonproliferative retinopathy — microaneurysms. ...

Stage 2: Moderate nonproliferative retinopathy — blocked blood vessels. ...

Stage 3: Severe nonproliferative retinopathy — more blocked blood vessels & a call for help. ...

Stage 4: Proliferative retinopathy — blood vessels grow on the retina.

Symptoms of proliferative diabetic retinopathy include:

an increased number of eye floaters

blurry vision

distorted vision

poor night vision

loss of vision

decreased field of vision

change in colors

It is also considerable fact that diabetic retinopathy symptoms usually affect both eyes at the same time.

The major effects of diabetic retinopathy are:

1. Vitreous Hemorrhage

The condition of vitreous hemorrhage takes place as a result of newly formed blood vessels leak into the vitreous gel located in the eye. This eye condition prevents the light from entering the retina, leading to loss of vision and increased sensitivity to light. Nevertheless, this eye condition resolves itself if not much damage is done to the retina.

2. Detached Retina

The condition of the detached retina takes place when the retina is pulled away from its normal position in the back of the eye. This is the main reason for the occurrence of floating spots in the field of vision. Also, flashes of light and a complete loss of vision occur. This needs timely treatment in order to prevent any further loss of vision.

3. Glaucoma

When the normal flow of the fluids in the eyes gets blocked due to the formation of new blood vessels. This eye problem leads to the build-up of Ocular Pressure which can further lead to optic nerve damage or vision loss altogether.

What Are The Main Causes of Diabetic Retinopathy?

Know the key causes for the condition to occur and worsen in due course of time:

The blood vessel that feeds the retina is damaged

Due to high glucose levels, damage to the blood vessels occurs

At later stages, the blood vessels might get completely blocked, causing the production of new less stable, or weak blood vessels

There can be leakage of new blood vessels into the eye, causing a blurred vision

This, if diabetic retinopathy is left unattended, can lead to a complete loss of vision.