What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a medical condition in which damage occurs to the retina due to diabetes mellitus. It is also known as diabetic eye disease (DED). It affects up to 80 percent of those who have had diabetes for 20 years or more. It can cause blindness if left undiagnosed and untreated. However, it usually takes several years for diabetic retinopathy to reach a stage where it could threaten your sight.

Causes :

Fundamentally, diabetic retinopathy is caused due to excessive sugar in your blood leading to the blockage of blood vessels in the retina, and blood supply cut off.

Signs and Symptoms :

Usually, it is not easy to notice diabetic retinopathy in the early stages. However, early signs of the condition can be observed by taking photographs of the eye during diabetic eye screening. Dark strings or distorted images with blurred vision A person with macular edema is likely to have blurred vision In some cases, the vision will get better or worse during the day. Not able to see colors

Diagnosis :

Diabetic retinopathy can be detected with an eye examination:
Pupil dilation : The eye care professional places drops into the eye to dilate the pupil to see more of the retina and look for signs of diabetic retinopathy. It will show if the retina is swollen or detached.
Retinal vessel analysis :It detects abnormalities of the autoregulation of small retinal arteries and veins in diabetic patients even before the manifestation of diabetic retinopathy.
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) : This is an optical imaging modality based upon laser beam interference that gives cross-sectional images of the retina. It is used to measure the thickness of the retina and to resolve its major layers, allowing the observation of swelling.
Fluorescein angiogram : This is an imaging technique that relies on the circulation of fluorescein dye to show staining, leakage, or non-perfusion of the retinal and choroidal vasculature.

Treatment :
Its treatment includes diabetes management as well as seeing your ophthalmologist.
Anti-VEGF treatment is given as an injection into the white of your eye (the sclera).
Corticosteroids are a class of drugs used to ease swelling, itching, redness, and allergic reactions.
Scatter laser surgery- It is an outpatient procedure that treats proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
Vitrectomy- It is a surgical procedure in which vitreous humor gel that fills the eye cavity is removed to provide better access to the retina.

Prevention :
Most important thing is to manage your diabetes.
Take steps to control your blood sugar.
If you observe any signs or symptoms of retinopathy treat it as early as possible to prevent vision loss.
Maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
See an eye doctor at least once a year for a complete eye exam.