Today we look at a very specific topic related to health and lifestyle: Diabetic retinopathy (DR). Diabetic retinopathy is a severe eye disease that affects people with diabetes. In fact, one-third of all people with diabetes have DR, too. The main cause of this problem is too much sugar in the blood. This causes damage to blood vessels in the retina.
The symptoms of diabetic retinopathy vary from person to person. They include blurry vision, blank spots, floaters, and rings. Although diabetic retinopathy can be a cause of blindness, it can also be treated. Early detection of the disease can help prevent further complications.
During the early stages of the condition, there are no signs or symptoms. However, they can be present by the time the disease progresses to the more severe stages.
If you want to know more about diabetic retinopathy and how to treat it, continue reading.
What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy is a serious condition that can affect people with diabetes. If left untreated, it can cause severe vision loss. It is primarily caused by a blockage of blood vessels in the retina. This can cause blurry or dark vision, floaters, and even blindness.
When too much sugar is in the blood, the small blood vessels that supply the retina become blocked. These blockages can develop into microaneurysms, which are tiny bubble-like lesions that can leak fluid and blood into the retina.
If you notice any of the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy, you should contact your eye doctor right away. A doctor can also diagnose diabetic retinopathy through a dilated eye exam.
Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is a disease that occurs in the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. It causes damage to the retina's blood vessels. The damaged vessels leak fluid into the retina. This causes the macula to swell and blur vision. Eventually, the fluid in the macula may cause blindness.
While there is no cure for diabetic retinopathy, proper eye care can help slow the progression of the disease. When people with diabetes develop retinopathy, they will experience various symptoms. Knowing the symptoms can help in the early detection and prevention of serious complications.
Here are some common symptoms of diabetic retinopathy.
- Blurry vision
- Double vision
- Eye floaters
- Impaired color vision
- Patches that block the person's vision
- Dark or empty spot in the center
- Poor night vision
- Total loss of vision
Risk Factors for Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes. Moreover, it can cause loss of sight, which can lead to blindness. To prevent this, it is also essential to understand the risk factors for diabetic retinopathy and the steps that are available to help prevent it.
Here are some risk factors for diabetic retinopathy.
- Long-term diabetes
- Uncontrolled blood sugar levels
- Regular smoking
- High cholesterol levels
- High blood pressure
Complications of Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetes retinopathy is a disease that causes damage to the blood vessels in the retina. The resulting damage can lead to blindness. If you have diabetes, it is important to get regular dilated eye exams. Moreover, this will help your doctor to identify any problems early and start treatment right away. These are some complications of diabetic retinopathy.
- Vitreous Haemorrhage
- Retinal Detachment
Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy
The diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy is a serious issue, and there are several different treatment options. These options also include laser treatment, injections, and eye surgery. Moreover, each of these options has its own benefits and complications.
Diabetes causes abnormal blood vessels to grow on the retina, which can leak fluid into the eye and distort the images. Moreover, this can lead to bleeding or scarring that can affect your vision. Laser treatment for diabetic retinopathy can prevent further vision problems and may reduce the risk of blindness.
If you suffer from diabetic retinopathy, you may want to consider treatment with injections. This can also help slow the progression of the condition and can help prevent permanent vision loss. Moreover, treatment for diabetic retinopathy with injections involves injecting a specialized medication into the retina.
There are several procedures for treating diabetic retinopathy. Some of the most common include vitrectomy and laser eye surgery. Vitrectomy is a procedure that involves the removal of the blood-filled vitreous gel from the eye. After the gel is removed, the doctor will also replace it with a saline solution. Over time, the body will also absorb the saline and replace it with its own fluid.
Prevention of Diabetic Retinopathy
In addition to managing your blood sugar levels, there are some steps you can take to prevent diabetic retinopathy from getting worse.
Monitor Your Blood Sugar Level
Keeping your blood sugar level within the recommended range is important to prevent and delay diabetic retinopathy. This is because high blood glucose levels can damage small blood vessels in the retina and can cause bleeding and leakage. If your levels are too high, exercise can help to lower them.
Pay Attention To Vision Changes
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that affects the light-sensitive retina. If not treated on time, it can also lead to blindness. In order to prevent this problem, you need to pay attention to the vision changes. It will also help you in early detection.
Another important way to prevent diabetic retinopathy is to make changes to your lifestyle. By changing your diet and taking nutritional supplements, you can improve the health of your eyes. You should also exercise regularly to help manage blood sugar.
Glycosylated Hemoglobin Test
If you have diabetes or if you have a risk factor for getting diabetes, you should get a glycosylated hemoglobin test done. This test is used to diagnose diabetes and also to predict your risk of getting diabetic retinopathy.
Control Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
Keeping blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control can help prevent the dreaded diabetic retinopathy. A number of studies have also demonstrated the link between lipids and retinopathy.
Manage Diabetes Retinopathy Using Diabetes Apps
Diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of preventable vision loss around the world. The disease is the result of high blood sugar, causing damage to the blood vessels in the retina. Moreover, this can lead to bleeding, swelling, and leakage of fluids and blood.
Using a diabetes app can help you manage your retinopathy. These apps can also help you to keep track of your blood sugar levels and follow diet and exercise tips to manage diabetes. Moreover, one such app you can use to manage diabetes retinopathy is Klinio.
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is one of the most common eye problems in people with diabetes. The disease causes small, leaky blood vessels to form in the retina. These blood vessels are fragile and can break, causing vision loss. In order to avoid this problem, it is recommended to schedule regular eye tests and manage your blood sugar levels.
Generally, it is good advice to take a closer look at your lifestyle and incorporate healthy habits to prevent diabetes and DR in the first place.
Take good care of your body, it’s the only one you have.
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