What is diabetic retinopathy ?

diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a disorder of diabetes that occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than normal, resulting in damage to the back of the eye that is the retina. Sadly, if left unnoticed and untreated, it can cause blindness.

Nevertheless, this condition typically takes many years to reach a stage where it could affect the eyesight and cause blindness.

Diabetic retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy

In order to minimize the risk of this happening, people with diabetes should:

  • Monitor and track your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels
  • Consult the doctors on an annual basis and attend diabetic eye test appointments to pick up and treat any problems early on.

The retina needs constant blood supply. Over time, constant high blood sugar will destroy these blood vessels and stop sending the necessary signals to your brain so you won’t see any of these images. However, if an eye problem is picked up early, lifestyle changes and treatment can stop it from getting worse, too.

diabetes affect the eyes
diabetes affect the eyes

Am I at risk of having diabetic retinopathy ?

Anyone with diabetes may be at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.

You are at higher risk if you:

  • Have had diabetes for a long time
  • See high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels
  • Continuously high blood sugar (blood glucose)
  • If you’re pregnant,

By keeping your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control, you can reduce your chances of developing diabetic retinopathy.

Am I at risk of having Diabetic retinopathy ?
Am I at risk of having Diabetic retinopathy ?

What Is Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy  ?

Many people who have diabetic retinopathy will usually not experience it in the early stages, as it does not appear to have any strong, obvious symptoms until it is more advanced in the later stages. Nevertheless, early signs of this disorder can be identified by taking photographs of the eyes during an eye test.

If you note the following, you can contact your doctor


  • The vision is gradually getting worse
  • Sudden loss of vision
  • Floaters appear in your eye and cause your vision to be distorted.
  • Blurred or irregular vision
  • Redness and pain in the eye

Such symptoms certainly do not suggest that you have diabetic retinopathy, but it is important to check with your doctor what these symptoms indicate.

What is Diabetic retinopathy treatments  ?

  • Treatment for diabetic retinopathy is only necessary if the eye test detects significant problems that indicate that you are at risk. If the disease has not reached this stage, you just need to follow up with your doctor and schedule your screening appointments as prescribed before each year.

    The key treatments for advanced diabetic retinopathy are:

  • Laser treatment :

this procedure is used by skilled retinal surgeons to treat several eye problems, one of which is diabetic eye disease. The laser beam of high-intensity light is aimed into the eye to destroy bleeding blood vessels to prevent more blood from leaking.

  • Vitrectomy :

Vitrectomy surgery is prescribed if you have a hemorrhage that is not visible, if you have retinal detachment, or if laser therapy is not sufficient to stop the growth of new vessels. During vitrectomy, the doctor will remove the gel-like material inside the eye, allowing any blood to be cleared and scar tissue removed.

  • Diabetic retinopathy treatments 
    Diabetic retinopathy treatments 1

    Injection of medicine into the eye:

The doctor might recommend that you inject some medication into the eye. Such drugs, called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), that help to stop the growth of new blood vessels by preventing the growth signals the body sends to generate new blood vessels.

Careful control of your diabetes is the best way to prevent loss of vision. If you have diabetes, follow up with your eye doctor annually.

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