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Frequently Asked Questions About Diabetic Retinopathy

A study by the International Diabetes Federation established that diabetes had become a global epidemic due to people's changing diets and lifestyles. Many people who have diabetes develop retinopathy. This is one of the reasons you should seek diabetic eye treatment. Here are answers to common questions about diabetic retinopathy.

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetes affects small blood vessels in your body. Since the retina has fine blood vessels, diabetes may target the eyes. Diabetic retinopathy is a condition where diabetes affects the back of your eye. When a person has high blood sugar levels, the retina's blood vessels are severely damaged. This eventually leads to blindness.

What Are the Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy?

The risk of developing retinopathy is high for people with diabetes for an extended period. Additionally, people with high cholesterol levels, poor control of their blood sugar, and high blood pressure also have an increased risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Other risk groups include smokers and pregnant women.

Some main symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include fluctuating vision, blurry vision, dark spots in your vision, and vision loss. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek diabetic eye treatment. 

How Is Diabetic Retinopathy Diagnosed?

To diagnose diabetic retinopathy, your optometrist will perform a dilated eye exam. This involves placing drops in your eyes for a close examination. During the exam, your optometrist will watch out for abnormalities in and out of your eyes.

One of the standard eye exams for diabetic retinopathy is fluorescein angiography. When your eyes are dilated, your doctor will inject a dye into a vein in your arm. The optometrist will examine the pictures taken while the dye moves through the eyes' blood vessels. The images will tell them whether your eye's blood vessels are broken, closed, or leaking.

How Is Diabetic Retinopathy Treated?

Diabetic eye treatment for this condition varies depending on its severity. If you have minor damage to your blood vessels, your optometrist will recommend managing your diabetes through exercise and a strict diet regimen. 

For advanced diabetic retinopathy, your eye doctor will perform a laser procedure. During this surgery, your practitioner will use photocoagulation to seal leaking blood vessels and stop further tissue damage.

In other cases, you may have to go through intraocular surgery. During this procedure, your doctor will remove the vitreous or gel-like fluid in your eyes and replace it with saline liquid.

In Closing

If you have diabetes, ensure you are tested for eye conditions associated with the condition, such as diabetic retinopathy. There is no cure for diabetic retinopathy; however, your optometrist can help you manage the symptoms. Early detection of diabetic-related eye problems is crucial for preventing adverse effects.