Beware: Diabetes can lead to blindness
Diabetic Retinopathy is basically a situation where due to diabetes retina of the eye is damaged and can lead to blindness. In fact, all diabetic patients should be very careful about their eyes. Interestingly, 90% of total cases of diabetic retinopathy can be reduced.
What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
“Any patient of diabetes can develop hyperglycemia, which is an excess of blood sugar or serum glucose for extended period of time in body. Although glucose is a vital source of energy for the body, a persistent elevation of serum glucose damages to capillaries (tiny blood vessels in the eye) that supply blood to the retina,” says Dr. Sardana of Sardana Eye Institute.
There are two types of diabetic retinopathy:
Background or nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR)Nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) or background retinopathy is the earliest stage of diabetic retinopathy. “In this stage, damaged tiny blood vessels within the retina begin to leak blood or extra fluid into the eye. The leaking fluid causes the retina to swell. It's called Nonproliferative because at this stage, new blood vessels do not grow (proliferate),” says Dr. Sardana. NPDR is a mild and moderate form of diabetic retinopathy
“With the progress of disease, severe nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy go into an advanced, or proliferative stage when blood vessels starting proliferating or growing. They can start bleeding and blur vision,” avers Dr. Sardana First time it may not be very severe. If you see a few specks or blood spots floating in your vision field, this may be proliferative diabetic retinopathy. PDR is more severe than NPDR as far as vision loss is concerned because it affects both central and peripheral vision.
· Spots. Dots, or dark strings floating in your vision (floaters)
· Blurred vision
· Fluctuating vision
· Poor vision in night
· Dark or blank areas in your vision
· Vision loss
· Difficulty in color recognition
Who is at risk?
“Anybody who is suffering from diabetes is at risk. The longer a person has diabetes, the higher the risk of developing some optical problem,” says Dr. Sardana. It is believed that after 20 years of diabetes, almost all patients with Type I diabetes and around 50% of patients with Type II diabetes have either acute or some degree of retinopathy. Even 10 year old diabetes is crucial for vision. In fact People with any type of diabetes can develop retinopathy.
Though there are several factors, the most crucial are blood sugar level and blood pressure. Both should be under control otherwise can prompt diabetic retinopathy.
What to do?
Strict control of your diabetes and blood pressure is the best way to prevent vision loss. You must consult your eye doctor regularly if you have diabetes, even if your vision is fine. Regular diabetic retinopathy screening is required to detect diabetic retinopathy in the early stages.
By Sachin Singh Gaur
When blood sugar levels are too high for extended periods of time, it can damage capillaries (tiny blood vessels) that supply blood to the retina. Over time, these blood vessels begin to leak fluids and fats, causing edema (swelling). Eventually, these vessels can close off, called ischemia. These problems are signs of