Diabetes especially the long term diabetes may cause many eye disorders. It damages the eye’s retina which causes diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic retinopathy is caused because of the damage of retina’s blood vessels. Retina is the most sensitive part of eye, it senses light, colors and objects and sends message to brain through optic nerve.
Diabetic retinopathy has two stages
- First stage is nonproliferative.
- Second phase id proliferative. It is sever form of disease and an advanced stage.
Diabetic retinopathy is caused usually due to type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. People with these types of diabetes are highly at risk to develop diabetic retinopathy. If one has severe form of diabetes for a long period, one is very much sustainable to develop the diabetic retinopathy. If the diabetes is allowed to run uncontrolled, retinopathy will occur earlier. More or less, every diabetes patient who is over the age of 30 shows symptoms of retinopathy.
General symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include vision loss slowly over the time, blurred vision, floaters, and difficulty seeing at night and shadows or missiong areas of vision. In some cases there are no symptoms at first. There occurs huge bleeding from the eye as a first symptom. Mostly when the symptoms appear, significant damage to eye has already been occurred.
Disease caused due to diabetes can be detected with the help of some test. Medical man uses eye drops which help in dilating the pupils thus doctor examines the retina. For final detection retinal photography or fluoresce test is used. Diabetes may have caused the enlargement of blood vessels, blockage of blood vessels, development of small scars on the retina and on the vitreous, new fragile blood vessels and even retinal hemorrhages (small amount of fluid leaking and bleeding into the retina).
Once detected, it is not possible to return back the eye to its full vision but medication may help in avoiding the disease to become the worst. First stage of diabetic retinopathy does not need any medication but when the patient is at advanced level and doctor notices the appearance of fragile vessels in the eye treatment becomes necessary. Treatment includes laser surgery or several other procedures. Laser surgery is used to remove fragile abnormal vessels. Macular edema is treated with focal laser photocoagulation. Large part of retina can be simultaneously treated with Scatter laser treatment and panretinal photocoagulation. Mostly it is removed in two sessions. If there is bleeding in the eye, vitrectomy is used to repair retinal detachment.
Diabetes can cause many complications in the eye. Constant high level of blood sugar may lead to cataracts, glaucoma and retinal detachment. Diabetes is not necessarily bound with eye disorders. If one takes excessive care of his blood sugar and blood pressure he may have no eye disorders at all. One needs to have a tight control of his sugar level and cholesterol.
Diabetes patients need to go for regular examination of their eyes. Children of more than 10 years having diabetic history of 3-5 years should go for eye examination. Adults with type 2 diabetes should go for immediate checkup of eyes after the diagnosis of disease. Adults with type 1 diabetes should have checkup of their eyes after 5 years of disease. After the first examination all patients should take yearly exam.