Diabetic Retinopathy: Stages, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease developed in all kind of diabetic people in which retina will be damaged due to diabetes causing blindness.
There are two stages of diabetic retinopathy.
This is the more advanced stage of diabetic eye disease. This stage occurs when the retina starts growing new blood vessels. This is called neovascularization.These can burst and bleed causing vitreous hemorrhage and blur the vision, because these new blood vessels are fragile. If the fragile blood vessels only bleed a little, a few dark floaters can be seen which goes away after few hours. If they bleed a lot, it might block all vision. These new blood vessels can form scar tissue. Scar tissue can cause problems with the macula or lead to a detached retina. PDR is very serious, and can damage both your central and peripheral vision.
Usually there is no early signs in diabetic retinopathy . Sometimes even macular edema, which can cause rapid vision loss, may not have any warning signs. However, a person with macular edema will have blurred vision, making it hard to do things like read or drive. In some cases, the vision will get better or worse during the day.Typical symptoms of retinopathy may include one or more of the following signs.
Sudden changes in vision
Floaters in your vision
Seeing dark spots or patches
Reduction in night vision
Loss of vision
Diabetic retinopathy is caused by prolonged high blood glucose levels. Over time, high sugar glucose levels can weaken and damage the small blood vessels with in the retina causing swelling of the retina.Then there will be insufficient supply of oxygen to the retina leading to growth of abnormal vessels which effects the vision.
Retinopathy can also develop faster due to high blood pressure.
Methods of eye examination that detect diabetic retinopathy includes:
Different eye chart is used to measure how well a person sees or read at various distances.
Eye drops will be dropped in the eye to dilate the pupil, so that the retina can be closely examined for the sign of diabetic retinopathy. Close-up vision may remain blurred for several hours after this test.
A fluoresce that is a Yellow dye is injected into a vein, usually in your arm. The dye travels through your blood vessels and a special camera takes photos of the retina as the dye travels throughout its blood vessels. This shows if any blood vessels are blocked or leaking fluid. It also shows if any abnormal blood vessels are growing.
This is another way to look closely at the retina. A machine scans the retina and provides detailed images of its thickness, which will help measure swelling of your macula.
Close examination of retina can be done through a slit lamp biomicroscope with a special magnifying lens.
Treatment options may include:
Controlling your blood sugar and blood pressure keeps your eye's blood vessels healthy. Hence can reduce the risk of vision loss.
Anti-VEGF and steroid are the medicines given in the form of injection to reduce macular swelling.This will help slowing vision loss and perhaps improving vision.
Laser surgery is used to block leaking blood vessels. This can reduce swelling of the retina. Laser surgery can also help shrink blood vessels and prevent them from growing again.
This is suggested in advance stage of PDR. Vitreous gel and blood from leaking vessels in the back of your eye will be removed, which allows light rays to focus properly on the retina again. Scar tissue also might be removed from the retina.