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Diabetic Retinopathy

The most common cause for loss of eyesight in ones working life

 

 diabeticDiabetes can affect sight

If you have diabetes mellitus, your body does not use and store sugar properly. High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels in the retina, the nerve layer at the back of the eye that senses light and helps to send images to the brain. The damage to retinal vessels is referred to as diabetic retinopathy

Complications of Retinopathy:

 

1. Vitreous hemorrhage.

The fragile new vessels may bleed into the vitreous, a clear, gel-like substance that fills the center of the eye. If the vitreous hemorrhage is small, a person might see only a few new, dark floaters. A very large hemorrhage might block out all vision. It may take days, months, or even years to reabsorb the blood, depending on the amount of blood present.

 If the eye does not clear the vitreous blood adequately within a reasonable time, vitrectomy surgery may be recommended. Vitreous hemorrhage alone does not cause permanent vision loss. When the blood clears, vision may return to its former level unless the macula is damaged.

2. Traction retinal detachment  .

 When PDR is present, scar tissue associated with neovascularization can shrink, wrinkling and pulling the retina from its normal position. Macular wrinkling can cause visual distortion. More severe vision loss can occur if the macula or large areas of the retina are detached.

3. Neovascular glaucoma.

Occasionally, extensive retinal vessel closure will cause new, abnormal blood vessels to grow on the iris (colored part of the eye) and in the drainage channels in the front of the eye. This can block the normal flow of fluid out of the eye. Pressure in the eye builds up, resulting in neovascular glaucoma, a severe eye disease that causes damage to the optic nerve.  

How is diabetic retinopathy diagnosed?

 A medical eye examination is the best way to detect changes inside your eye.

An ophthalmologist can often diagnose and treat serious retinopathy before you are aware of any vision problems. The ophthalmologist dilates (enlarges) your pupil and looks inside of the eye with special equipment and lenses. If your ophthalmologist finds diabetic retinopathy, he or she may order color photographs of the retina or a special test called fluorescein angiography to find out if you need treatment. In this test a dye is injected into your arm and photos of your eye are taken to detect where fluid is leaking.

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