Eye damage caused due to diabetes is called diabetic retinopathy. This involves injury to the retina, the light sensitive part of the eye responsible for vision. Due to diabetes, abnormalities occur in the tiny vessels nourishing the retina at the back of eye. It commonly affects both the eyes and leads to loss of vision, if left untreated. Let’s learn more about diabetic retinopathy, its causes and consequences.
diabetic retinopathy causes
The retina is a critical part of the human eye, with abundant blood supply through its tiny vessels for its functioning. When a person has long periods of poorly controlled diabetes, these tiny vessels get damaged due to high blood sugar. The blood and fluid leakage occurs through the vessels causing swelling of the retina and blurred vision.
In advanced stages of diabetic retinopathy, the blood vessels get blocked and new leaky vessels begin to grow that can form scar tissue. Gradually, the retina gets separated from its position and ultimately leads to blindness, if untreated.
diabetic retinopathy symptoms
Just as other diabetic complications, people in the early diabetic retinopathy stages may not have any symptoms or pain. So all those with diabetes need to get examined for eye disease annually.
As the disease progresses, they can suffer from:
- Blurred vision
- Spots or floaters in the field or the centre of vision
- Poor night vision
diabetic retinopathy treatment/ management
Diabetic retinopathy treatment is primarily prevention to avoid worsening by taking appropriate measures, such as:
- Getting examined for any form of eye disease at least once a year, as the symptoms do not appear is early stages of the disease
- Following your diabetes specialist’s advice for maintaining your
- Glucose level
- Blood pressure
- Cholesterol level
- Physical activity/exercise
- Quit smoking
If you think you require treatment, consult your doctor who can put you on any of the treatments available for diabetic retinopathy.