Diabetes is a dangerous and potentially life-threatening disease. Have you heard about diabetic retinopathy? It is the most common form of eye problem affecting people with diabetes. One-third of people living with diabetes have signs of diabetic retinopathy, and it mainly affects the retina, the part of the eye that senses light.
The First Signs Of Diabetic Retinopathy
According to the NIH (National Institute of Health), this is the leading cause of blindness among working-age Americans. But may not realize is that one of the conditions associated with diabetes is a type of vision loss called diabetic retinopathy. This condition is caused when high blood sugar levels cause damage to blood vessels in the retina. It does not show any symptoms, and it’s difficult to sense its presence in its initial stages.
Continue reading the full article and find out more about, including common signs, causes, risk factors, and treatments. A glucometer is essentially another term for Blood Glucose Meter. To accurately test your blood sugar levels, you can use one of the best blood sugar monitors at your home itself. You may be able to tell if you are hypoglycemic or hyper with symptoms related to each, however, one can never be certain about their blood levels without testing them with the best blood glucose meter.
What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetic Retinopathy is known as the most common form of diabetic eye disease, and it usually affects people who have had diabetes for a significant number of years. It mainly occurs when changes in blood glucose levels cause changes in retinal blood vessels, and in some cases, these vessels will swell up and leak fluid into the rear of the eye. Also, this condition can particularly become dangerous by increasing the risk of blindness if it is left untreated. There are three different types of Diabetic Retinopathy disease they are:
- Background Retinopathy:
This is an early stage of retinal damage when small blood vessels in the retina show signs of damage that can result from diabetes. Background retinopathy is also known as simple retinopathy, which involves tiny swellings in the walls of the blood vessels.
- Diabetic maculopathy
Diabetic maculopathy can result from retinopathy Maculopathy is damage to the macula. The macula is the part of the eye that helps to provide us with our central vision, and Diabetic maculopathy is when the macula sustains some form of damage. This can cause vision problems such as difficulty with reading and or seeing faces in the center of your vision.
- Proliferative retinopathy
Proliferative retinopathy condition is mainly caused by changes in the blood vessels of the eye, and this is the advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy in which the retina becomes blocked, causing the growth of abnormal blood vessels. This includes the tiny blood vessels in the retina, the light-sensitive nerve layer that lines the back of the eye.
Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy
According to the reports and studies, diabetic retinopathy may occur without symptoms and without pain. And the actual symptoms may only become noticeable once the disease advances. Some of the typical symptoms may include:
- Sudden changes in the vision.
- Eye floaters and spots.
- Double vision.
- Eye pain
- Fluctuating Vision.
- Trouble Seeing Colors.
- Night blindness
- Vision is obstructed with blind spots or blank spots.
- Vision Loss
Four Stages Of Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is classified into four stages; they are:
- Mild Nonproliferative Retinopathy
This is the initial stage where the tiny parts of the vessels may leak, and these leakages are called microaneurysms. In this stage, patients are unlikely to experience symptoms.
- Moderate Nonproliferative Retinopathy
Moderate Nonproliferative Retinopathy stage shows the blocking of the blood vessels that nourish the retina. At this stage, the patients are unlikely to experience any major symptoms.
- Severe Nonproliferative Retinopathy
During this Severe Nonproliferative Retinopathy stage, a greater number of blood vessels become blocked, depriving the retina of blood supply and, therefore, oxygen. And for the growth of new blood vessels, the blocked areas of the retina send messages to the body.
- Proliferative Retinopathy
At this Proliferative Retinopathy stage, the messages sent by the retina for new blood vessels are responded to, and new blood vessels grow. But these vessels are abnormal and fragile to grow along the retina. And due to their fragility, they are likely to leak blood, and these causes noticeable symptoms such as loss of vision and if untreated, possible blindness.
Treatments For Diabetic Retinopathy
Many effective treatments are available to stop the progression of diabetic retinopathy. No treatment is needed for the early stage except for better diabetes control. So there are three main treatments for diabetic retinopathy, they are:
- Laser Surgery
Laser surgery is mainly used to treat the abnormal vessels growing within the eye, especially for proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
Injection of corticosteroids is used in more severe cases when sight is threatened. This treatment is mainly used to repair the macula.
If the surgery is not possible for retinopathy, the vitrectomy treatment is performed to remove blood or scar tissue from the eye.
Diabetic retinopathy is a serious condition that affects most diabetic patients. As I have mentioned above this condition can particularly become dangerous by increasing the risk of blindness if it is left untreated. So if you found any of these above symptoms, talk with your doctor and get the proper treatment before it becomes worse. Hope you found this article useful. Are there any questions or if you have any other suggestions and inquiries you can get in touch with me through the comments section.