Diabetic Retinopathy – What it is, Symptoms and Treatments of this condition. In addition, Diabetic Retinopathy is the most common eye disease in people with diabetes. It is a condition that occurs as a result of damage to the blood vessels of the retina in people with diabetes . Diabetic Retinopathy can develop if you have type 1 or 2 diabetes and a long history of uncontrolled high blood sugar levels .
While you may start out with only mild vision problems, you may eventually lose your vision. Untreated Diabetic Retinopathy is one of the most common causes of blindness in the United States, according to the National Eye Institute . It is also the most common eye disease in people with diabetes .
Diabetic Retinopathy is a serious eye condition that can lead to impaired vision or even blindness. It develops in people with type 1 or 2 diabetes who have long-term uncontrolled blood sugar levels . Annual eye exams and physical exams are important tools for prevention.
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Causes of Diabetic Retinopathy: High blood sugar levelsover long periods cause Diabetic Retinopathy . This excess sugar damages the blood vessels that supply the retina with blood . High blood pressure is also a risk factor for retinopathy.
The retina is a layer of tissue at the back of the eye . It is responsible for changing the images that the eye sees into nerve signals that the brain can understand. When retinal blood vessels are damaged, they can become blocked, which cuts off some blood supply to the retina. This loss of blood flow can cause other, weaker blood vessels to grow. These new blood vessels can leak and create scar tissue that can cause vision loss.
The longer you have had diabetes , the greater your chances of developing Diabetic Retinopathy . Almost everyone who has had diabetes for over 30 years will show some signs of retinopathy. Keeping your diabetes under control can help slow its progression.
Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy: It is uncommon to have symptoms during the early stages of this condition. Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy often do not appear until major damage has occurred within the eye . You can prevent unseen damage by keeping your blood sugar levels under good control and having regular eye exams to monitor your eye health .
When symptoms do appear, they are most commonly seen in both eyes and can include:
- Blurred or dark vision;
- Difficulty seeing at night;
- Blurry vision;
- loss of vision;
- Difficulty distinguishing colors.
Diagnosing Diabetic Retinopathy: Your doctor can diagnose Diabetic Retinopathy using a dilated eye examThis involves using eye drops that make your eyes open, allowing the doctor to get a good look inside your eye . Your doctor will check:
- Abnormal blood vessels;
- Leaking blood vessels;
- blocked blood vessels;
- Lens changes;
- Nerve tissue damage;
- Retinal detachment.
They may also perform a fluorescein angiography test. During this test, your doctor will inject ink into your arm, allowing them to track the flow of blood in your eyes . They will take pictures of the dye circulating inside your eye to determine which vessels are blocked, leaking or broken.
An optical coherence tomography (OCT) scan is an imaging test that uses light waves to produce images of the retina. These images allow your doctor to determine the thickness of the retina. OCT scans help determine how much fluid, if any, has accumulated in the retina.
Tratamentos da Retinopatia Diabética: As opções de tratamento são limitadas para pessoas com Retinopatia Diabética precoce. Seu médico pode querer realizar exames oculares regulares para monitorar a saúde ocular, caso o tratamento seja necessário. Um endocrinologista pode ajudar a retardar a progressão da retinopatia, ajudando você a administrar sua diabetes otimamente.
Na Retinopatia Diabética avançada, o tratamento depende do tipo e gravidade da retinopatia. A cirurgia de fotocoagulação pode ajudar a prevenir a perda de visão. Este tipo de cirurgia usa um laser para controlar ou parar o vazamento queimando os vasos para selá-los. Os tipos de fotocoagulação e outros tratamentos incluem o seguinte:
- Scatter photocoagulation involves using a laser to burn hundreds of tiny holes in the eyes two or more times to reduce the risk of blindness.
- Focal photocoagulation involves using a laser to target a specific leaking vessel in the macula to prevent macular edema from getting worse.
- Vitrectomy involves removing scar tissue and cloudy fluid from the vitreous fluid of the eye .
Preventing Diabetic Retinopathy: If you have diabetes , it is important to maintain healthy levels of the following to prevent Diabetic Retinopathy :
- Blood pressure
- blood sugar
Other ways to prevent or manage the condition include the following:
- Quit smoking if you smoke.
- Get regular, moderate exercise several times a week. If you have retinopathy, check with your healthcare team to determine the best exercises for you.
- Get annual eye exams .