Diabetic retinopathy is a diabetes complication that affects eyes. It’s caused by damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina).
At first, diabetic retinopathy may cause no symptoms or only mild vision problems. Eventually, it can cause blindness.
The condition can develop in anyone who has type 1 or types 2 diabetes. The longer you have diabetes and the less controlled your blood sugar is, the more likely you are to develop this eye complication.
You might not have symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. As the condition progresses, diabetic retinopathy symptoms may include:
-Spots or dark strings floating in your vision (floaters)
-Impaired color vision
-Dark or empty areas in your vision
-Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes.
When to see a doctor
Careful management of your diabetes is the best way to prevent vision loss. If you have diabetes, see your eye doctor for a yearly eye exam with dilation — even if your vision seems fine. Pregnancy may worsen diabetic retinopathy, so if you’re pregnant, your eye doctor may recommend additional eye exams throughout your pregnancy.
Contact your eye doctor right away if your vision changes suddenly or becomes blurry, spotty or hazy
Over time, too much sugar in your blood can lead to the blockage of the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina, cutting off its blood supply. As a result, the eye attempts to grow new blood vessels. But these new blood vessels don’t develop properly and can leak easily.
(1)Early diabetic retinopathy.
(2)Advanced diabetic retinopathy
Anyone who has diabetes can develop diabetic retinopathy. Risk of developing eye condition can increase as a result of:
Duration of diabetes — the longer you have diabetes, the greater your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy
-Poor control of your blood sugar level
-High blood pressure
Diabetic retinopathy involves the abnormal growth of blood vessels in the retina. Complications can lead to serious vision problems:
You can’t always prevent diabetic retinopathy. However, regular eye exams, good control of your blood sugar and blood pressure, and early intervention for vision problems can help prevent severe vision loss.
If you have diabetes, reduce your risk of getting diabetic retinopathy by doing the following:
-Manage your diabetes.
-Monitor your blood sugar level.
-Ask your doctor about a glycosylated hemoglobin test.
-Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control.
-If you smoke or use other types of tobacco, ask your doctor to help you quit
-Pay attention to vision changes.
Remember, diabetes doesn’t necessarily lead to vision loss. Taking an active role in diabetes management can go a long way toward preventing complications.
Treatment: If you have retinopathy you’ll need prompt surgical treatment. Depending on the specific problems with your retina, options may include Photocoagulation.
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