10. January 2010 17:38
Retinopathy is the damage to the retina of the eye and diabetic retinopathy is the damage to retina caused as a complication of the diabetes. It occurs in patients who have long history of diabetes and can even cause the loss of vision in such patients.
Retina acts as a film in the camera for our eye. The image of the object is created on the retina and the image converts into the electrical signals that are passed to the brain. Patient with long history of uncontrolled diabetes have high glucose content in the blood. Accumulation of the glucose in the blood vessels of the retina damages these blood vessels. This causes decreased blood supply to the retina and thus ischemia, which, in turn, contributes to development of retinopathy.
Causes of Diabetic Retinopathy
- Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes and thus diabetes is the cause of the diabetic retinopathy.
Risk factor that may lead to retinopathy in diabetic patients includes;
- Duration of diabetes – Generally patients with long history of diabetes are more likely to develop diabetic retinopathy.
- Increased level of glucose in the diabetic patients
- Hypertension – systemic hypertension in diabetic patients increases the risk of diabetic retinopathy
Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy Diabetic retinopathy can be asymptomatic in the initial stages. Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy in the later stages include;
- Blurred vision
- Partial or complete loss of vision
- Hemorrhage in the retina that causes dark streaks or a red film that may block the vision
Eye examination –
- Eye specialist dilates the pupil by putting some eye drops and examines the retina of the eye. Abnormal blood vessels, fatty deposits on retina or hemorrhages can be seen in this dilated eye examination.
- Fluorescein angiography
- Photocoagulation – It is the laser treatment wherein the leaking blood vessels of the eye are sealed or repaired.
- Vatrectomy - It is a surgery done to remove the scar tissues on the retina.
Prevention or care of eye in diabetic patients
- Control over blood glucose levels
- Regular eye examinations of patients who have diabetes .Early diagnosis help to prevent blindness or vision loss in the patients.
For complete eyecare, contact Killeen Eyecare Center. Killeen Eyecare Center serves Harker Heights, Killeen and Fort Hood area in Texas.