The retina is a layer of tissue in the back of the eye that senses light and sends images to the brain, providing the sharp, central vision needed for reading, driving and seeing fine detail. Person with a normal eye but with a retina disease will have poor vision.
Diabetic Retinopathy occurs when excess sugar in the blood damages the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina. It may even block them completely. This can result in vision loss. In response to the lack of blood supply, the eye attempts to grow new blood vessels. But, these new blood vessels don’t develop properly and can leak easily causing loss of vision.
Diabetic Retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that affects the eyes; wherein the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina are damaged. When these blood vessels are damaged, the eye attempts to grow new blood vessels. But, these new blood vessels don’t develop properly and can leak easily causing impaired vision.
WHAT CAUSES DIABETIC RETINOPATHY?
Diabetic retinopathy is caused by consistently high blood sugar levels and long duration of the disease, damaging the network of tiny blood vessels that supply blood to your retina. The retina, like all parts of the body, needs a constant supply of blood, which flows to the retina through a network of tiny blood vessels. Over the years, the blood vessels can be damaged by high blood sugar (glucose) levels that may be present in people with poorly controlled diabetes.
PREVALENCE OF DIABETIC RETINOPATHY :
- Among patients with the onsent of diabetes at a younger age, the prevalence of any retinopathy was 8% at 3 years, 25% at 5 year, 60% at 10years, and 80% at 15 years.
- Up to 21% of patients with type 2 diabetes have retinopathy at the time of first diagnosis of diabetes and most develop some degree of retinopathy over time.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF DIABETIC RETINOPATHY
Diabetic Retinopathy symptoms may include:
- Spots or dark strings floating in your vision (floaters)
- Blurred vision
- Fluctuating vision
- Dark or empty areas in your vision
- Vision loss
- Difficulty with colour perception
In some cases patient may not show any of the above symptoms.
AVAILABLE TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR DIABETIC RETINOPATHY
Focal laser treatment
This laser treatment, also known as photocoagulation, can stop or slow the leakage of blood and fluid in the eye. During the procedure, leaks from abnormal blood vessels are treated with laser burns.
Scatter laser treatment
This laser treatment can shrink the abnormal blood vessels. During the procedure, the areas of the retina away from the macula are treated with scattered laser burns. The burns cause the abnormal new blood vessels to shrink and scar
This procedure can be used to remove blood from the middle of the eye (vitreous) as well as any scar tissue that’s tugging on the retina. During the procedure, the doctor makes a tiny incision in the eye; scar tissue and blood in the eye are removed with delicate instruments and replaced with a salt solution or silicone oil / C3F8 gas which keeps the retina attached.
Periocular or Intraocular
This procedure involves administration of steroids to the patient which help reduce swelling of the retina.
Anti VEGF Drugs
These are injections given inside the eye to transiently shrink the abnormal leaking blood vessels, either before laser treatment or surgery