Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy

What is diabetic retinopathy

Do you know the diabetic retinopathy treatment?

You will be unaware of these treatment for diabetic retinopathy

So in this article of My Health Only, we are going to tell the treatment of diabetic retinopathy, causes, symptoms, risks & prevention, By knowing early stages of diabetic retinopathy you will be able to treat it as soon as possible.

Let’s know what are the treatment of diabetic retinopathy..

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease caused by diabetes, which is quite common in diabetic patients. Diabetic retinopathy usually occurs in people who have been suffering from diabetes for years. This usually results in damaged retinal blood vessels due to diabetes. Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include blurred vision, double vision, difficulty identifying colors, or not seeing at night. This disease is tested by an eye doctor, during which they lift the eyelids and examine them closely. Apart from this, some special tests can also be done to test.

The development of diabetic retinopathy can be prevented by keeping blood sugar at a normal level and taking a healthy diet regularly. Apart from this, regular exercise and quitting smoking are also very important to prevent diabetic retinopathy.

There are several treatment procedures to treat diabetic retinopathy, such as injecting medicine into the eye with the help of injection, performing a laser surgery to remove scar tissue and blood from the eye. Diabetic retinopathy usually takes several years to reach the critical stage, in which the risk of loss of vision of the patient increases.

However, if this condition is not tested and treated in time, it can cause blindness.

What is diabetic retinopathy –

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes. The disease is caused by damaged blood vessels present in the retina. This blood vessel is of the tissues susceptible to light located behind the eye. Diabetic retinopathy disease is also a fairly common disease among people with diabetes.

Types of diabetic retinopathy –

How many types of diabetic retinopathy?

Types of diabetic retinopathy
  • Nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy:

This is the initial stage of diabetic retinopathy, it is also known as “background retinopathy”. It is called “nonproliferative” because new blood vessels do not form in the eye during the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. During this initial phase blood starts leaking from damaged blood vessels.

  • Proliferative retinopathy:

It is also called advance retinopathy. This is the stage of retinopathy in which new blood vessels begin to develop in the retina. These new blood vessels are usually abnormal and develop in the middle of the eye.

Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy –

What are the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy?

In most cases, symptoms of diabetic retinopathy usually develop in both eyes and can usually include:

  • Seeing things floating or dark spots in the sky
  • Having difficulty seeing at night
  • Blurry vision
  • Diplopia
  • Eye pain
  • Cataract
  • Blindness or inability to see properly
  • Vision less more (Sometimes more visible sometimes less)
  • Difficulty identifying colors, discoloration

When should contact the doctor?

  • If you feel any change in your eyesight or vision or have started seeing blur, contact the doctor immediately.
  • Taking care of diabetes carefully and keeping it under control is the best way to prevent blindness. If you are a diabetic patient and do not have any problem of seeing, then you should get your eyes checked once a year.
  • Diabetic retinopathy may worsen during pregnancy, If you are pregnant, your eye doctor may suggest some additional tests.

Causes and Risk Factors of Diabetic Retinopathy –

Why does diabetic retinopathy occur?

Diabetes mellitus (DM) causes extraordinary changes in blood sugar (glucose). Glucose is commonly used by the body as a fuel to perform many different functions.

If diabetes is not controlled properly, increased levels of blood sugar accumulate in the blood vessels, thus reducing blood flow to many other organs of the body, including the eye. This causes the eyes to become damaged.

Diabetes retinopathy can also occur due to high blood sugar levels in the blood for a long time. Because the excess of sugar in the blood damages the blood vessels that carry blood to the retina.

The retina is a type of membrane that covers the back of the eye. It is highly sensitive to light.

It turns all the light into the eye into a signal, which goes into the brain. This process produces photographs and in this way the human eye can see.

Diabetic retinopathy also damages blood vessels in retinal tissues. This causes fluid to leak and eyesight becomes worse.

After that it reduces oxygen from the retina and abnormal blood vessels begin to develop. If diabetes is well controlled, the risk of diabetic retinopathy can be reduced.

When does the risk of having diabetic retinopathy increase?

Anyone with diabetes can have diabetic retinopathy. The risk of developing this eye problem may also increase as a result of the following conditions:

  • Staying diabetes for a long time the greater the risk of getting diabetic retinopathy.
  • Pregnancy
  • Chew tobacco
  • Old age
  • Failure to control blood sugar levels properly
  • High BP (high blood pressure may also be a risk factor for diabetic retinopathy)
  • High cholesterol

The severity of diabetic retinopathy depends on the following conditions:

  • Duration of diabetes
  • Blood sugar level

Prevention of Diabetic Retinopathy

How to prevent diabetic retinopathy?

Keeping blood sugar at a normal level for a long period of time can prevent diabetic retinopathy and reduce its risk factors.

The risk factors for developing diabetic retinopathy can be reduced by taking some precautions, such as:

  • Get dilated eye examination once a year (Close examination of the eye)
  • Eating healthy and balanced meals, such as reducing salt, fat and sweeteners in food.
  • Getting your blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly.
  • Take special care of diabetes by taking help of diet, insulin, medicines and exercise.
  • Regularly checking blood sugar.
  • Talking to a doctor about the glycosylated hemoglobin test. The glycosylated hemoglobin test or hemoglobin A1c test shows the average of the last few months of your blood sugar level. For most people, the A1C test aims to be less than 7 percent.
  • Doing regular urine tests for ketone levels.
  • Quit drinking.
  • Taking measures to reduce high BP as per doctor’s advice
  • If any change in vision is felt, a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible.

Diagnosis of Diabetic Retinopathy –

How is diabetic retinopathy tested?

The best way to detect diabetic retinopathy is by “Comprehensive dilated eye exam”. During this test, the eyelid is widened and a special medicine drop is inserted into it, with the help of which the pupil of the eye is widened and seen well inside the eye. Due to the medicine put in the eyes, the eye remains blurred for some time, the effect of this medicine usually lasts for a few hours.

During the test, diabetic retinopathy and other signs of eye diseases can also be detected. If there is any type of damage in the retina, then the following signs can be seen from it:

  • Swelling
  • Dirt in the eye
  • Evidence of leakage of blood or other fluid from blood vessels

Doctors can use some special test equipment or camera etc. to take pictures of the retina and to detect diabetes related damage in the eye. In some cases, the doctor may also refer you to a specialist doctor of retina, so that some additional investigations can be done.

Eye test

  • Fluorescein angiography

Doctors take pictures of the inside of your eye by widening the eye. After that, a special type of dye is inserted into one of the arm veins with the help of injection and again eye photographs are taken. It is a special type of dye that spreads to all the veins of the eye and appears separately in the test pictures. With the help of this dye, it is ascertained whether there is any blood vessel in the eye, stagnant or damaged.

  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT)

The doctor may also suggest you to have an OCT test. This is a type of imaging test, which takes pictures from different directions of the retina, which can determine the thickness of the retina etc. If there is leakage of blood or fluid etc. in the retinal tissues, it can be detected with the help of this test. Later OCT tests can also be used to find out if the treatment is working well.

Sometimes overlooked eye diseases include neuropathy (eye damage). Due to neuropathy, the eye and vein get damaged, which works to make the eye move. Symptoms include moving the eyes automatically and appearing double blinded. For this, the doctor can do the following tests:

  • Sight check
  • Examining the pressure inside the eye to check for glaucoma etc.
  • Examining signs of cataract in the eye

Treatment of diabetic retinopathy –

How is diabetic retinopathy treated?

Diabetic retinopathy is treated according to the stage of the disease. The main goal of any type of treatment for diabetic retinopathy is to prevent or reduce the disease.

Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy

The patient has to seek the help of a doctor to control diabetes. If blood sugar levels are well controlled, it reduces diabetic retinopathy to a great extent.

  • Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) medicine can reduce the fluid produced in the retina. These medicine also stop new blood vessels developing abnormally in the retina. For example, these medicine include ranibizumab and aflibercept. To inject these medicines, the area around the eye is numb and a very thin needle is used. This injection improves vision and prevents future vision problems.
  • Corticosteroid medicine can also be injected to treat the condition.
  • Fenofibrate medicine is used to reduce high cholesterol. These medicine prevent diabetic retinopathy in people with type 2 diabetes. These medicine are taken in tablet form.

When diabetic retinopathy reaches a high stage, it requires specific treatment. In these stages the risk of loss of vision of the patient also increases.

If diabetic retinopathy is affecting the ability to see or it has other vision related risks, then the main treatment for this situation may be:

  • Laser Treatment:

In cases of proliferative diabetic retinopathy, a laser procedure may be used to treat abnormally developing blood vessels in the back of the eye (retina). Laser treatment of diabetic retinopathy has proved to be quite effective to treat problems such as blood vessel failure or leaking. But how successful this surgical procedure is depends on how long the blood vessels have been stalled or leaking.

  • Eye surgery:

With the help of laser treatment, blood or scar tissue does not come out from inside the eye, because retinopathy reaches a more severe stage.

Diabetic retinopathy cannot be completely treated with the help of surgery. However, its symptoms can be prevented or reduced with its help. Diabetes is a chronic disease and despite treatment, it can cause retinal damage and vision problems.

Complications of diabetic retinopathy –

What complications can occur from diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy can cause vision problems and even blindness. In most cases it takes serious form within several years.

Some possible complications related to diabetic retinopathy include, e.g.

  • Glaucoma:

As soon as new blood vessels begin to form in the retina, the flow of fluid inside the eye stops. The pressure inside the eye increases due to the stoppage of fluid, which increases the risk of eye veins getting damaged and blindness.

  • Vitreous hemorrhage:

A newly developed blood vessel leaks into the eye-filled vitreous gel, which prevents direct light from entering the retina. Symptoms that occur in less severe cases include hyper sensitivity to the main light and not being able to see (blindness) and floaters (seeing blurred objects floating in the sky), etc. If the retina is not damaged due to diabetic retinopathy, then these complications are automatically corrected.

  • Detached Retina:

Scar tissue pulls the retina apart from the back of the eye. This usually results in floating points and spots in the sky, visible brightness of the light and severe loss of eyesight, etc. If left untreated, it can pose many other risks.