Diabetic Retinopathy

GettyImages-168612983 Diabetic Retinopathy
DIABETIC RETINOPATHY IS AN EYE DISEASE THAT IS LINKED TO DIABETES
  • Anyone with diabetes is at risk for diabetic retinopathy
  • The longer someone has diabetes, the greater the chance of retinopathy, over the time, the disease can cause severe vision loss or blindness
  • If someone has diabetes, they can take three important steps to prevent vision loss from diabetic retinopathy
  • Watch and control your blood sugar levels
  • Poor blood sugar control is one of the leading causes of diabetic retinopathy
  • Take care of yourself
  • See an eye doctor at least once a year
  • Diabetic patients must have a dilated eye exam upon eye examination
WHAT IS A DILATED EYE EXAM?
  • The dilated eye exam will allow the doctor to check for eye diseases that become more common with age
HOW DIABETIC RETINOPATHY CAN HARM THE EYES
  • Diabetic retinopathy harms blood vessels in the retina, in the back of the eye
  • Small blood vessels in the retina become weak
  • They break down, leak or bleed
  • Unhealthy new blood vessels may start to grow
  • Weak blood vessels may leak fluid and cause swelling, also referred to as macular edema, which can lead to vision distortion
  • When unhealthy new blood vessels grow they can bleed into the clear, jelly-like fluid, called vitreous, which fills most of the eyeball
  • This then leads to dark spots, strands, that look like cobwebs or clouding in our vision
  • Scars
TREATMENTS

Laser Therapy

  • Doctor may use a laser to seal leaking or bleeding vessels
  • This treatment is called photocoagulation

Vitrectomy

  • Doctor uses a small suction tool to take out the vitreous jelly of the eye
  • This operation removes blood and scar tissue in the vitreous as well
  • Fluid is used to replace the vitreous

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