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Diabetic Retinopathy Explained

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

When your blood sugar is high or when you start using insulin, you may have blurry vision. But your eyes could be damaged even if you don't see anything differently. That's why you should get an eye exam at least once a year. Your eye doctor will use a special dye to look for leaking blood vessels. They can cause swelling in your retina (where images focus inside the back of your eye) and decrease your vision. Poor circulation can cause new, weak blood vessels to grow on the retina. These are very prone to bleeding, which can also lead to loss of vision as well as retinal detachment. In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, your doctor may do a procedure called pan retinal photocoagulation with a laser to destroy large areas of your retina where the abnormal blood vessels grow. Less common focal treatment also uses a laser. It seals the blood vessels and stops them from leaking and growing. These surgeries won't bring your vision back, but with follow-up care, you can lower your chance of blindness by as much as 90%. A newer treatment may be better for saving and improving vision, especially for people with diabetic macular edema, which is swelling in the very center of your retina. You get shots of medicine into the jelly inside your eye. It stops a protein needed to grow blood vessels. But it isn't a cure. You'll need to keep getting shots. The treatment and its long-term effects are still being studied. In the late stages of diabetic retinopathy -- if your retina has detached or a lot of blood has leaked into your eye -- your doctor may suggest this operation to remove scar tissue, blood, and cloudy fluid from inside your eye. Vitrectomy can improve your vision. Eventually, nearly everyone with diabetes will. The longer you have the disease, the more likely it i Continue reading >>

Diabetic Retinopathy: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatments

Diabetic Retinopathy: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatments

Diabetic retinopathy: Causes, symptoms, and treatments Diabetic retinopathy is damage to the retina caused by complications of diabetes mellitus. The condition can lead to blindness if left untreated. Early blindness due to diabetic retinopathy (DR) is usually preventable with routine checks and effective management of the underlying diabetes . Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is blood vessel damage in the retina that happens as a result of diabetes. It is the leading cause of blindness in the United States (U.S.). Symptoms include blurred vision, difficultyseeing colors, floaters, and even total loss of vision. People with diabetes should have their vision checked at least once annually to rule out DR. There are retinal surgeries that can relieve symptoms, but controllingdiabetes and managing early symptoms are the most effective ways to prevent DR. Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that can lead to total blindness without treatment. DR is a complication of diabetes and a leading cause of blindness in the United States (U.S.). The retina is the membrane that covers the back of the eye. It is highly sensitive to light. It converts any light that hits the eye into signals that can be interpreted by the brain. This process produces visual images, and it is how sight functions in the human eye. Diabetic retinopathy damages the blood vessels within the retinal tissue, causing them to leak fluid and distort vision. Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR): This is the milder form of diabetic retinopathy and is usually symptomless. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR): PDR is the most advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy and refers to the formation of new, abnormal blood vessels in the retina. Approximately 5.4 percent of people in the U.S. aged over 40 Continue reading >>

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

If you have diabetes (type 1 or type 2), you could get diabetic retinopathy, a condition that affects your eyes. But your chances of getting it depend on several things: How long you’ve had it How often your blood glucose changes How well controlled your sugars are At first, you may not even know you have diabetic retinopathy. Or, you might just notice minor vision problems. Either way, there are things you can do to prevent it. And there are treatments to help slow it down. You might not have any until your condition becomes severe. When you do start having symptoms, you might notice: A loss of central vision when you read or drive Inability to see colors Holes or black spots in vision See your doctor right away if you have any of these issues. When left untreated, diabetic retinopathy damages your retina. This is the lining at the back of your eye that transforms light into images. If your blood glucose level (blood sugar) is too high for too long, it blocks off the small blood vessels that keep the retina healthy. Your eye will try to grow new blood vessels, but they won’t develop well. They start to weaken and leak blood and fluid into your retina. This can cause another condition doctors call macular edema, which makes your vision blurry. As your condition gets worse, more blood vessels become blocked. Scar tissue builds up because of all the new blood vessels your eye has grown. This extra pressure can cause your retina to detach. It can also lead to glaucoma and other problems that may result in blindness. An eye doctor can usually tell if you have diabetic retinopathy during an eye exam. He’ll probably dilate your pupils to look for any changes in blood vessels or to see if new ones have grown. He’ll also check to see if your retina is swollen or has bec Continue reading >>

Treatment Of Diabetic Retinopathy And Macular Edema

Treatment Of Diabetic Retinopathy And Macular Edema

Treatment Of Diabetic Retinopathy And Macular Edema About Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy and Macular Edema Diabetic Retinopathy FAQ Eye Doctor Q&A Millions of Americans each year face vision loss related to diabetes. In fact, according to recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 26 million Americans roughly 8.3 percent of the U.S. population have diabetes, and more than 28 percent of diabetics age 40 or older in the U.S. have diabetic retinopathy (DR) and related diabetic eye disease. To make matters worse, a significant number of cases of diabetes and diabetic eye disease go undetected or untreated because people fail to have routine comprehensive eye exams as recommended by their optometrist or ophthalmologist . Most laser and non-laser treatments for diabetic eye disease depend on the severity of the eye changes and type of vision problems you have. Diabetic retinopathy is diabetes-related damage to the light-sensitive retina in the back of the eye . As diabetes progresses, chronic high blood sugar levels cause changes that damage the tiny blood vessels in the retina, which makes them leak fluid or hemorrhage (bleed). Eventually, this leads to vision problems that cannot be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses . If you have a diabetic vitreous hemorrhage, you may require a vitrectomy to remove the clear, gel-like substance in your eye's interior. [Enlarge] The appearance of diabetic retinopathy is associated with the proliferation of a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the retina. VEGF stimulates the production of new blood vessels in the retina to bring more oxygen to the tissue because retinal blood circulation is inadequate due to diabetes. Unfortunately, these tiny Continue reading >>

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy, also known as diabetic eye disease, is a medical condition in which damage occurs to the retina due to diabetes and is a leading cause of blindness.[1] It affects up to 80 percent of people who have had diabetes for 20 years or more.[2] At least 90% of new cases could be reduced if there were proper treatment and monitoring of the eyes.[3] The longer a person has diabetes, the higher his or her chances of developing diabetic retinopathy.[4] Each year in the United States, diabetic retinopathy accounts for 12% of all new cases of blindness. It is also the leading cause of blindness for people aged 20 to 64 years.[5] Signs and symptoms[edit] Normal vision The same view with diabetic retinopathy. Emptied retinal venules due to arterial branch occlusion in diabetic retinopathy (fluorescein angiography) Diabetic retinopathy often has no early warning signs. Even macular edema, which can cause rapid vision loss, may not have any warning signs for some time. In general, however, a person with macular edema is likely to have blurred vision, making it hard to do things like read or drive. In some cases, the vision will get better or worse during the day. In the first stage which is called non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) there are no symptoms, the signs are not visible to the eye and patients will have 20/20 vision. The only way to detect NPDR is by fundus photography, in which microaneurysms (microscopic blood-filled bulges in the artery walls) can be seen. If there is reduced vision, fluorescein angiography can be done to see the back of the eye. Narrowing or blocked retinal blood vessels can be seen clearly and this is called retinal ischemia (lack of blood flow). Macular edema in which blood vessels leak their contents into the macular regi Continue reading >>

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that occurs in people who have diabetes. It causes progressive damage to the retina, the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye. Diabetic retinopathy is a serious sight-threatening complication of diabetes. Diabetes interferes with the body's ability to use and store sugar (glucose). The disease is characterized by too much sugar in the blood, which can cause damage throughout the body, including the eyes. Over time, diabetes damages the blood vessels in the retina. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when these tiny blood vessels leak blood and other fluids. This causes the retinal tissue to swell, resulting in cloudy or blurred vision. The condition usually affects both eyes. The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely they will develop diabetic retinopathy. If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness. Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include: Seeing spots or floaters Blurred vision Having a dark or empty spot in the center of your vision Difficulty seeing well at night When people with diabetes experience long periods of high blood sugar, fluid can accumulate in the lens inside the eye that controls focusing. This changes the curvature of the lens, leading to blurred vision. However, once blood sugar levels are controlled, blurred distance vision will improve. Patients with diabetes who can better control their blood sugar levels will slow the onset and progression of diabetic retinopathy. Often the early stages of diabetic retinopathy have no visual symptoms. That is why the American Optometric Association recommends that everyone with diabetes have a comprehensive dilated eye examination once a year. Early detection and treatment can limit the potential for significant vision loss from diabetic retinopathy. T Continue reading >>

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

Author: Abdhish R Bhavsar, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP more... Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a major medical problem throughout the world. Diabetes causes an array of long-term systemic complications that have considerable impact on the patient as well as society, as the disease typically affects individuals in their most productive years. [ 1 ] An increasing prevalence of diabetes is occurring throughout the world. [ 2 ] In addition, this increase appears to be greater in developing countries. The etiology of this increase involves changes in diet, with higher fat intake, sedentary lifestyle changes, and decreased physical activity. [ 3 , 4 ] Patients with diabetes often develop ophthalmic complications, such as corneal abnormalities, glaucoma, iris neovascularization, cataracts, and neuropathies. The most common and potentially most blinding of these complications, however, is diabetic retinopathy, [ 5 , 6 , 7 ] which is, in fact, the leading cause of new blindness in persons aged 25-74 years in the United States. Approximately 700,000 persons in the United States have proliferative diabetic retinopathy, with an annual incidence of 65,000. An estimate of the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in the United States showed a high prevalence of 28.5% among those with diabetes aged 40 years or older. [ 8 ] (See Epidemiology.) The exact mechanism by which diabetes causes retinopathy remains unclear, but several theories have been postulated to explain the typical course and history of the disease. [ 9 , 10 ] See the image below. Fundus photograph of early background diabetic retinopathy showing multiple microaneurysms. Federman JL, Gouras P, Schubert H, et al. Systemic diseases. Podos SM, Yanoff M, eds. Retina and Vitreous: Textbook of Ophthalmology. 1994. Continue reading >>

An Explanation Of Diabetic Retinopathy

An Explanation Of Diabetic Retinopathy

Most people with diabetes see well and have no major eye problems. Some people develop 'cataracts' . These cause misty vision, and can be removed with a relatively quick operation. If your diabetes has been a little more severe, you may develop 'retinopathy ', a disease of the retina of your eye. If your sight has already been damaged, it can be very difficult coping with everyday life. For information that may help a little, see Coping with Poor Vision. The 'retina' is the film at the back of your eye, like the film in a camera. This is shown in the picture.Light enters your the eye ... from the left in this picture. and then passes through the eye to reach the retina. The messages about what you see are then passed on to the brain.See Animation . Retinopathy is the name given to 'disease of the retina' due to diabetes, and is described below. Blindness from retinopathy can in theory be prevented, and has in Iceland. See .This has been done by regular eye checks and people controlling their diabetes. There are four main types of retinal damage that can occur if you are diabetic. Unfortunately the condition may progress from no or mild retinopathy to a much more severe type. No retinopathy.... many people have a basically healthy retina. If you can control your diabetes and blood pressure at this stage it will help prevent or slow down any harmful changes. background retinopathy .... early changes. maculopathy ....this is more serious. Eventually your sight may become reduced. Laser and blood pressure control help. pre-proliferative or non-proliferative stage before the new blood vessels start growing. proliferative retinopathy ... when the new vessels grow. These blood vessels are very delicate and can bleed easily. Laser is very effective in stopping the new vessels Continue reading >>

The Abcs Of Diabetic Retinopathy Rds Have A Role In Preventing Blindness In Patients With Diabetes

The Abcs Of Diabetic Retinopathy Rds Have A Role In Preventing Blindness In Patients With Diabetes

The ABCs of Diabetic Retinopathy RDs Have a Role in Preventing Blindness in Patients With Diabetes Diabetes is a growing epidemic in the United States and abroad. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) reports that more than 23 million children and adults in the United States are living with the disease (about 8% of the population), roughly 7 million of whom are unaware of their condition. Now multiply 23 million by three and youre close to the number of people living with prediabetes (79 million). The term epidemic is not an overstatement. With the diabetes ranks increasing by another 1.5 million each year, The World Diabetes Foundation estimates that there will be more than 438 million people worldwide with diabetes by 2030, says Edward Chaum, MD, PhD, the Plough Foundation Professor of Retinal Diseases at the University of Tennessee Hamilton Eye Institute in Memphis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates as many as 110 million Americans will have diabetes by 2050. To better illustrate what that means, thats one in every three adults in the country by 2050. Diabetes in itself can present many challenges for clients, yet poor blood sugar management can lead to a host of complications that can affect many bodily systems, the eyes being one and a major source of concern. Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 20 to 74, according to the ADA, and diabetic retinopathy is the main culprit. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and is a leading cause of blindness in American adults, says Elva Parker, MS, RD, CDE, a diabetes educator at Unity Diabetes Center in Rochester, New York. How common is it? Approximately 4.1 million adults aged 40 and older have diabetic retinopathy, with one in every 12 di Continue reading >>

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

Overview Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes, caused by high blood sugar levels damaging the back of the eye (retina). It can cause blindness if left undiagnosed and untreated. However, it usually takes several years for diabetic retinopathy to reach a stage where it could threaten your sight. To minimise the risk of this happening, people with diabetes should: ensure they control their blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol attend diabetic eye screening appointments – annual screening is offered to all people with diabetes aged 12 and over to pick up and treat any problems early on How diabetes can affect the eyes The retina is the light-sensitive layer of cells at the back of the eye that converts light into electrical signals. The signals are sent to the brain and the brain turns them into the images you see. The retina needs a constant supply of blood, which it receives through a network of tiny blood vessels. Over time, a persistently high blood sugar level can damage these blood vessels in three main stages: tiny bulges develop in the blood vessels, which may bleed slightly but don’t usually affect your vision – this is known as background retinopathy more severe and widespread changes affect the blood vessels, including more significant bleeding into the eye – this is known as pre-proliferative retinopathy scar tissue and new blood vessels, which are weak and bleed easily, develop on the retina – this is known as proliferative retinopathy and it can result in some loss of vision However, if a problem with your eyes is picked up early, lifestyle changes and/or treatment can stop it getting worse. Read about the stages of diabetic retinopathy. Am I at risk of diabetic retinopathy? Anyone with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes i Continue reading >>

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

Print Overview Diabetic retinopathy (die-uh-BET-ik ret-ih-NOP-uh-thee) is a diabetes complication that affects eyes. It's caused by damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina). At first, diabetic retinopathy may cause no symptoms or only mild vision problems. Eventually, it can cause blindness. The condition can develop in anyone who has type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The longer you have diabetes and the less controlled your blood sugar is, the more likely you are to develop this eye complication. Symptoms You might not have symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. As the condition progresses, diabetic retinopathy symptoms may include: Spots or dark strings floating in your vision (floaters) Blurred vision Fluctuating vision Impaired color vision Dark or empty areas in your vision Vision loss Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes. When to see a doctor Careful management of your diabetes is the best way to prevent vision loss. If you have diabetes, see your eye doctor for a yearly eye exam with dilation — even if your vision seems fine. Pregnancy may worsen diabetic retinopathy, so if you're pregnant, your eye doctor may recommend additional eye exams throughout your pregnancy. Contact your eye doctor right away if your vision changes suddenly or becomes blurry, spotty or hazy. Causes Over time, too much sugar in your blood can lead to the blockage of the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina, cutting off its blood supply. As a result, the eye attempts to grow new blood vessels. But these new blood vessels don't develop properly and can leak easily. There are two types of diabetic retinopathy: Early diabetic retinopathy. In this more common form — called nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) Continue reading >>

Facts About Diabetic Eye Disease

Facts About Diabetic Eye Disease

Points to Remember Diabetic eye disease comprises a group of eye conditions that affect people with diabetes. These conditions include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema (DME), cataract, and glaucoma. All forms of diabetic eye disease have the potential to cause severe vision loss and blindness. Diabetic retinopathy involves changes to retinal blood vessels that can cause them to bleed or leak fluid, distorting vision. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes and a leading cause of blindness among working-age adults. DME is a consequence of diabetic retinopathy that causes swelling in the area of the retina called the macula. Controlling diabetes—by taking medications as prescribed, staying physically active, and maintaining a healthy diet—can prevent or delay vision loss. Because diabetic retinopathy often goes unnoticed until vision loss occurs, people with diabetes should get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. Early detection, timely treatment, and appropriate follow-up care of diabetic eye disease can protect against vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy can be treated with several therapies, used alone or in combination. NEI supports research to develop new therapies for diabetic retinopathy, and to compare the effectiveness of existing therapies for different patient groups. What is diabetic eye disease? Diabetic eye disease can affect many parts of the eye, including the retina, macula, lens and the optic nerve. Diabetic eye disease is a group of eye conditions that can affect people with diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy affects blood vessels in the light-sensitive tissue called the retina that lines the back of the eye. It is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes Continue reading >>

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. When these blood vessels are damaged, they may leak blood and grow fragile new vessels. When the nerve cells are damaged, vision is impaired. These changes can result in blurring of your vision, hemorrhage into your eye, or, if untreated, retinal detachment. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in the United States. What Is Diabetic Retinopathy, Testing, and Treatments Watch these video animations to learn more about diabeticretinopathy, the affect that the diabetic retinopathy has on the eyes,and tests and treatments options for the condition. The symptoms described above may not necessarily mean that you have diabetic retinopathy. However, if you experience one or more of these symptoms, contact your ophthalmologist for a complete exam. It is also important to note that pregnancy and high blood pressure may aggravate diabetic retinopathy. People with untreated diabetes are 25 times more at risk for blindness than the general population. The longer a person has had diabetes, the higher the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Fortunately, with regular, proper eye care and treatment when necessary, the incidence of severe vision loss has been greatly reduced. If you have diabetes, your ophthalmologist can help to prevent serious vision problems. Diabetic retinopathy can cause vision loss in two ways: Macular Edema Macular edema is a condition where your retinal blood vessels develop tiny leaks. When this occurs, blood and fluid leak from the retinal blood vessels and fatty material (called exudate) is deposited in the retina. This causes swelling of the retina and is called diabetic macular edema. When this swelling occurs in the ce Continue reading >>

Researchers Identify A Mechanism That May Explain Why Some People Experience Accelerated Diabetic Retinopathy And Vision Loss

Researchers Identify A Mechanism That May Explain Why Some People Experience Accelerated Diabetic Retinopathy And Vision Loss

Researchers Identify a Mechanism that May Explain Why Some People Experience Accelerated Diabetic Retinopathy and Vision Loss Researchers Identify a Mechanism that May Explain Why Some People Experience Accelerated Diabetic Retinopathy and Vision Loss New diabetes and diabetic retinopathy research from Harvard Medical School, via Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science , the official journal of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), has demonstrated an association between a defective myogenic response the increase or decrease in blood pressure that serves to regulate a consistent blood flow within the vessels of the retina and early, accelerated development of diabetic retinopathy (explained below) in people with type 1 [i.e., insulin-dependent] diabetes. Although the study included a small number of subjects and addressed only type 1 diabetes, the research serves to identify a mechanism that may explain why some people develop diabetic retinopathy sooner than others. In addition, the authors state that these findings "provide a target for future study, which may lead to therapies to delay or prevent the development of accelerated diabetic retinopathy." From Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science This new diabetes research, entitled Defective Myogenic Response of Retinal Vessels Is Associated with Accelerated Onset of Retinopathy in Type 1 Diabetic Individuals , has been published as an open-source article in the April 2016 edition of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science , the official journal of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). ARVO is an international organization that encourages and assists research, training, publication, and dissemination of knowledge in vision and ophthalmology, includin Continue reading >>

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

People with diabetes can have an eye disease called diabetic retinopathy. This is when high blood sugar levels cause damage to blood vessels in the retina. These blood vessels can swell and leak. Or they can close, stopping blood from passing through. Sometimes abnormal new blood vessels grow on the retina. All of these changes can steal your vision. Stages of diabetic eye disease There are two main stages of diabetic eye disease. NPDR (non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy) This is the early stage of diabetic eye disease. Many people with diabetes have it. With NPDR, tiny blood vessels leak, making the retina swell. When the macula swells, it is called macular edema. This is the most common reason why people with diabetes lose their vision. Also with NPDR, blood vessels in the retina can close off. This is called macular ischemia. When that happens, blood cannot reach the macula. Sometimes tiny particles called exudates can form in the retina. These can affect your vision too. If you have NPDR, your vision will be blurry. PDR (proliferative diabetic retinopathy) PDR is the more advanced stage of diabetic eye disease. It happens when the retina starts growing new blood vessels. This is called neovascularization. These fragile new vessels often bleed into the vitreous. If they only bleed a little, you might see a few dark floaters. If they bleed a lot, it might block all vision. These new blood vessels can form scar tissue. Scar tissue can cause problems with the macula or lead to a detached retina. PDR is very serious, and can steal both your central and peripheral (side) vision. Continue reading >>

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