Diabetes Basics

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic Retinopathy is a complication which occurs in people who have been suffering from diabetes for more than fifteen years. Diabetes in the long term, can affect the tiny capillaries in the retinas. This diabetic complication can eventually lead to complete blindness.

Around 80 percent of the people who have been suffering from diabetes for more than 15 years are affected by this complication. Nevertheless, research has shown that 90 percent of new cases of diabetic retinopathy are curable if treated during the initial stages.

During the initial stages of this problem, the  retina swells and the vision will diminish. The  retinopathy worsens during the  second stage. It happens on account of circulatory problems and the retinas lack of oxygen. The condition degenerates  in the last stages and eventually leads to complete blindness.

Its symptoms vary according to the person’s age and the stage of the complication. A person may suffer from blurred or temporary loss of vision if the blood sugar level rises. Conducting a regular check up of the eyes is very essential in order to prevent complications such as cataract and loss of vision. The retinas are checked by an ophthalmologist who will use an ophthalmoscope.

Diabetic Retinopathy treatment is primarily done through laser surgery, scattered laser surgery and vitrectomy. Though the treatment varies according to the physical condition of the  patient, the best precaution is to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. This can be done by taking an appropriate diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle.