Diabetic Retinopathy

Woman with adult onset diabetes measuring blood sugar with indic - Summit EyecareDiabetes affects nearly 14 million Americans and if you have the disease it is important to educate yourself as much as you can. More than 8000 diabetic patients in the US become blind every year. It is the leading cause of blindness in patients aged 20-64 years.

Causes

High blood-sugar levels can damage blood vessels throughout your body especially in the nerve layer at the back of the eye, called the retina. Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) commonly known as background retinopathy, is the early stage of diabetic retinopathy. In this stage, tiny blood vessels within the retina leak blood or fluid. Vision is generally affected as a result of diabetic macular edema or swelling in macula, the central portion of the retina. This swelling is the most common cause of visual loss in diabetes.

Symptoms

In proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) usually causes more severe visual loss. In PDR abnormal new vessels form that are extremely fragile and tend to break easily and hemorrhage. If not treated PDR can lead to hemorrhage, retinal detachments, scarring and ultimately profound visual loss or blindness.

Diagnosis of Diabetic Retinopathy

A comprehensive medical eye exam is most important to detect changes inside your eye. Dr Khemsara can often diagnosis and treat serious retinopathy before any vision problems may occur. Unfortunately, because losing vision is often a late symptom of advanced PDR, many patients remain undiagnosed. Patients with diabetes must be diligent to obtain proper eye care throughout their lives. The American Diabetic Association (ADA) recommends yearly eye examinations for all diabetic patients.

Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment

Treatment for diabetic retinopathy can involve laser treatment or surgery.