Diabetic retinopathy
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Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a disease of the retina occurring as part of diabetes.

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the pancreas does not secrete enough insulin or the body is incapable of processing it appropriately. Insulin is the hormone that regulates the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood.

Patients suffering from diabetes may develop eye problems like cataract and glaucoma, but the effect of diabetes on the retina is the main threat to eyesight.

The disease generally goes through two stages

The earliest phase is known as basic diabetic retinopathy
The next stage is known as proliferative diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes.

What are the symptoms?

A patient affected by diabetic retinopathy suffers a loss of vision, and the appearance of marks or floating bodies.

Who is affected?

Diabetes can affect both children and adults, the same applies to diabetic retinopathy. However, young people are more likely to develop severe diabetic retinopathy with a more significant loss of vision.

What are the causes?

By affecting the retina’s circulation system, diabetes causes diabetic retinopathy

What is the evolution?

Most patients develop diabetic modifications in the retina after approximately 20 years.

The early phase of the disease is known as basic diabetic retinopathy. In this phase, the retina’s arteries become weak and have leaks, leading to tiny one-off haemorrhages. These vessels with leaks often lead to a thickening (or oedema) of the retina and a loss of vision.

In the following stage, known as proliferative diabetic retinopathy, circulation problems mean that some regions of the retina are deprived of oxygen. New, fragile, vessels develop while the circulation system tries to maintain adequate supplies of oxygen in the retina. This phenomenon is called neo-vascularisation. Unfortunately, these delicate vessels are easily subject to haemorrhages. Blood may leak into the retina and vitreous body, and be the cause of marks or floating bodies, as well as a loss of vision.

In the later stage of the disease, the continuation of abnormal vessel growth and scar tissue may be the cause of serious problems such as a detached retina and glaucoma.

How is it diagnosed?

Diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy is done after a detailed examination of the retina, using an ophthalmoscope and a fluorescein angiography.

How can it be prevented?

Diabetic patients must undergo annual eye examinations, so as to be able to detect and treat eye problems as soon as possible. As by treating the disease at an early stage, it is possible to treat it.

Researchers have discovered that diabetic patients who are able to maintain appropriate blood sugar levels have less eye problems than those who are poorly controlled. Diet and exercise play an important role in these people’s general health.

how to treat it?


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