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Diabetic Retinopathy - All That You Should Know Beforehand

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By Author: Jessica Cristina
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Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) is one of the complications that come with diabetes. As the name suggests, it mainly affects the patients’ eyes, specifically the retina. If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can even lead to complete blindness whereas early blindness caused by DR could be prevented with regular checkups and effective diabetes management.

About diabetic retinopathy

Not everyone is aware as to what is diabetic retinopathy. It is nothing but one of the fatal disorders caused by diabetes. The problem occurs when the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina) are damaged due to high blood glucose levels.

People living with diabetes for longer periods of time and poorly managed blood glucose levels are more likely to develop diabetic retinopathy. There are two different types of diabetic retinopathy as below:

Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR): It does not show any symptoms at the onset and is usually milder.

Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR): It ...
... refers to the formation of abnormal new blood vessels in the retina and is the most advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy.

What are its causes?

Diabetic retinopathy can occur in anyone who has either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. However, the foremost causes of diabetic retinopathy also depend on the following factors:

High blood glucose levels
Elevated blood pressure
High cholesterol
Smoking and alcohol abuse
Prolonged diabetes

Apart from the above, the main cause of diabetic retinopathy is severe damage to the blood vessels present in and around the retina. It happens when high glucose restricts blood flow towards the retina.

Subsequently, the blood vessels can be as mild as tiny bumps in the vessel wall that lead to occasional blood leakages without affecting vision.

Diabetic Retinopathy symptoms

Although the condition may not show any warning signs or symptoms, mild yet evident vision problems can take place at a later stage. It can also lead to complete blindness over time.

Other symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include:

Blurred vision
Inability to see and differentiate colors
Poor night vision
Transparent and colorless spots or dark strings floating in vision
Streaks or patches blocking vision
Sudden and total loss of vision

Steps to prevent diabetic retinopathy DR treatment depends on various factors including their type, severity, and the patient’s responses to previous treatments. Diabetic patients need to work with their doctors closely to control diabetes.

In most cases of NPDR, a doctor may opt to monitor the patient’s eyes closed without any intervention. While in PDR, the patient will need to go for immediate surgical treatment. Early detection of diabetic retinopathy symptoms can lower the chances of further complications. Effective management of blood glucose levels can prevent DR to a great extent.

Following steps can help to prevent Diabetes Retinopathy:

Having regular, healthy, and balanced meals
Regular moderate exercises
Maintaining a healthy body weight
Giving up smoking and alcohol
Attending regular screenings
Regular intake of prescribed medication

Timely diabetes management is the best way to prevent diabetic retinopathy and avoid vision loss. Consult your doctor for more information on diabetic retinopathy.

Not everyone is aware as to what is diabetic retinopathy. It is nothing but one of the fatal disorders caused by diabetes. Consult your doctor for more information on diabetic retinopathy.

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