Diabetic eye disease is a major concern among diabetic patients. The foremost symptom of the disease is that it causes blindness and loss of vision. Because of the increased risk of losing sight, people who have diabetes and aged 30 plus should attend the annual dilated eye examination. For those who are younger and below the age of 30 should attend to the yearly dilated eye examination after they have had diabetes for at least five years.
What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy is a disease where there is damage to the retina of the eye due to complications aroused out of diabetes. The retina consists of small blood vessels and capillaries. These capillaries and blood vessels receive excessive damage because of diabetes and leak. Due to the prolonged increase in blood sugar, blood vessels vascular lining receives excessive damage and results in the leakage of blood. Vision loss occurs due to the accumulation of the blood caused by the leakage from blood vessels and capillaries.
What are the Chances For Development Of Diabetic Retinopathy?
The chances for the occurrence of diabetic retinopathy are high in people who have diabetes. For diabetic people, the complications that they face are the leading cause of vision loss. It is difficult to find about the presence of the diabetic retinopathy in an early stage, as it does not show any symptoms.
Diabetic Retinopathy Progression
Before beginning the treatment, doctors will confirm whether the diabetic retinopathy is proliferative or non-proliferative. Based on this, the specialist will head with the required treatment. Of the two, non-proliferative is the frequent occurrence among the diabetic patients. In this type, the capillaries behind the eye balloon form sacks. The stage consists of three levels – mild, moderate, and severe. As the level progresses, the blood vessels within the retina become blocked. Although, there is no loss of vision in this type, losing the strength of the capillary wall makes them lose the ability to control the passage of substances between the retina and the blood.
Fluid leaks into the focusing arena of the eye, the macula. Excessive accumulation causes macula edema, which requires immediate treatment. Attending to the macula edema helps in seizing the accumulation and therefore, prevent loss of vision.
In a few cases, the non-proliferate progresses slowly over the years and turns into proliferate retinopathy. Proliferate retinopathy is the condition where excessive blood vessel damage occurs, and new blood vessels tend to develop. The new blood vessels are weak and thus, cause blood leakage leading to vitreous hemorrhage. It is further capable of leaving behind a scar that can distort the retina from its original place. There is high damage to the retina in such cases. Like non-proliferate retinopathy, diagnosing proliferate retinopathy in early stages is not possible due to the absence of symptoms. Therefore, it is necessary for diabetic people to undergo the annual eye examination.
Can Diabetic Retinopathy Be Reversed? Or Is It Possible To Reverse Diabetic Retinopathy?
Reversing diabetic retinopathy is possible when detected in the early stages. Due to the advancement in this field, treatments such as focal photocoagulation, vitrectomy, and scatter photocoagulation are available to attend to the needs of diabetic retinopathy patients.
Focal photocoagulation is the process where the surgeon creates burns with the help of laser to seal the leaking blood vessels. The process helps in halting the expansion and prevents further damage to the retina. Scatter photocoagulation is a method where the specialist creates the burns in the form of polka dots on more than two occasions. The process helps in reduction of the blindness and vitreous hemorrhage.