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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic Eye Disease

A A A Do I need to follow-up with my doctor after being diagnosed with diabetic eye disease? Diabetes is one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness worldwide, and, in the United States, it is the most common cause of blindness in people younger than 65 years of age. Diabetic eye disease also encompasses a wide range of other eye problems, for example, Diabetes may cause a reversible, temporary blurring of the vision, or it can cause a severe, permanent loss of vision. Some people may not even realize they have had diabetes for several years until they begin to experience problems with their eyes or vision. Diabetes also may result in heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and circulatory abnormalities of the legs. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes, and 8.1 million people additional people went undiagnosed. (This population is unaware that they have diabetes.) In the United States 1.2 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed every year. In the US in 2012, the total annual cost of diagnosed diabetes was 2.45 billion. Eighty-six million people in the US have prediabetes, and 9 out of every 10 don't know they have it. Of the 86 million people with prediabetes, without lifestyle changes 15% to 30% of them will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years. Lifestyle management has been shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and prediabetes by at least two-thirds. It can also slow or halt the progression of prediabetes to diabetes. People can try to avoid the problems associated with diabetes, including those that affect the eyes, by taking appropriate care of themselves by the following: Maintain a normal level of weight Watch your diet, especially limiting unhealthy types of fats and 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 >>

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 >>

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

Tweet Diabetic retinopathy is the most common form of diabetic eye disease. Diabetic retinopathy usually only affects people who have had diabetes (diagnosed or undiagnosed) for a significant number of years. Retinopathy can affect all diabetics and becomes particularly dangerous, increasing the risk of blindness, if it is left untreated. The risk of developing diabetic retinopathy is known to increase with age as well with less well controlled blood sugar and blood pressure level. According to the NHS, 1,280 new cases of blindness caused by diabetic retinopathy are reported each year in England alone, while a further 4,200 people in the country are thought to be at risk of retinopathy-related vision loss. All people with diabetes should have a dilated eye examination at least once every year to check for diabetic retinopathy. What is diabetic retinopathy? Diabetic retinopathy occurs when changes in blood glucose levels cause changes in retinal blood vessels. In some cases, these vessels will swell up (macular oedema) and leak fluid into the rear of the eye. In other cases, abnormal blood vessels will grow on the surface of the retina. Unless treated, diabetic retinopathy can gradually become more serious and progress from ‘background retinopathy’ to seriously affecting vision and can lead to blindness. Diabetic retinopathy includes 3 different types: What are the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy? Like many conditions of this nature, the early stages of diabetic retinopathy may occur without symptoms and without pain. An actual influence on the vision will not occur until the disease advances. Macular oedema can result from maculopathy and affect vision occurs if leaking fluid causes the macular to swell. New vessels on the retina can prompt bleeding, which can also Continue reading >>

Stages

Stages

Diabetic retinopathy develops in stages over time. If you're diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy after diabetic eye screening, lifestyle changes and/or treatment can reduce the chances of the problem progressing. The main stages of diabetic retinopathy are described below. You won’t necessarily experience all of these. Stage one: background retinopathy This means that tiny bulges (microaneurysms) have appeared in the blood vessels in the back of your eyes (retina), which may leak small amounts of blood. This is very common in people with diabetes. At this stage: your sight isn't affected, although you're at a higher risk of developing vision problems in the future you don't need treatment, but you'll need to take care to prevent the problem getting worse – read more about preventing diabetic retinopathy the chances of it progressing to the stages below within three years is over 25% if both of your eyes are affected Stage two: pre-proliferative retinopathy This means that more severe and widespread changes are seen in the retina, including bleeding into the retina. At this stage: there's a high risk that your vision could eventually be affected you'll usually be advised to have more frequent screening appointments every three or six months to monitor your eyes Stage three: proliferative retinopathy This means that new blood vessels and scar tissue have formed on your retina, which can cause significant bleeding and lead to retinal detachment (where the retina pulls away from the back of the eye). At this stage: there's a very high risk you could lose your vision treatment will be offered to stabilise your vision as much as possible, although it won't be possible to restore any vision you've lost Diabetic maculopathy In some cases, the blood vessels in the part of th Continue reading >>

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

Practice Essentials 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. In the initial stages of diabetic retinopathy, patients are generally asymptomatic, but in more advanced stages of the disease patients may experience symptoms that include floaters, distortion, and/or blurred vision. Microaneurysms are the earliest clinical sign of diabetic retinopathy. (See Clinical Presentat 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

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 >>

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

All people with diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Vision loss or blindness may be preventable through early detection and timely treatment. Good control of diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol as well as regular eye examinations may prevent vision loss. It is important to take action before you notice any eye problems. On this page: Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that damages blood vessels inside the retina at the back of the eye. Regular eye exams will reduce the risk of vision loss and blindness caused by diabetic retinopathy. Laser treatment is used successfully to treat retinopathy. All people with diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Types of diabetic retinopathy There are three main types of diabetic retinopathy: Non-proliferative retinopathy is an early form of the disease, where the retinal blood vessels leak fluid or bleed. Macular oedema is a swelling of the macula, caused by the leakage of fluid from retinal blood vessels. It can damage central vision. Proliferative retinopathy is an advanced form of the disease and occurs when blood vessels in the retina disappear and are replaced by new fragile vessels that bleed easily, and that can result in a sudden loss of vision. Retinopathy is a high risk for diabetics It is important to understand your risk of diabetic retinopathy. Anyone with diabetes is at risk of developing retinopathy. People with diabetes (type 1 and type 2) are 25 times more likely to experience vision loss than people without diabetes. Without treatment, diabetic retinopathy can cause loss of vision and blindness. Unfortunately, only half of the people with diabetes have regular eye exams, and one-third have never been checked. Symptoms There are no early-stage symptoms of diab 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 Eye Disease: Diagnosis, Causes, And Symptoms

Diabetic Eye Disease: Diagnosis, Causes, And Symptoms

By Debra A. Sokol-McKay, MS, CVRT, CDE, CLVT, OTR/L, SCLV Diagnosing Diabetic Eye Disease How Diabetes Affects the Eyes and Vision: Diabetic Retinopathy Eye Examination Guidelines Diagnosing Diabetic Eye Disease Diabetic retinopathy usually has no early warning signs. It can be detected only through a comprehensive eye examination that looks for early signs of the disease, including: Leaking blood vessels Macular edema (swelling) Pale, fatty deposits on the retina Damaged nerve tissue Any changes to the retinal blood vessels To diagnose diabetic eye disease effectively, eye care specialists recommend a comprehensive diabetic eye examination that includes the following procedures: Distance and near vision acuity tests A dilated eye (or fundus) examination, which includes the use of an ophthalmoscope. In a dilated eye examination, it is the pupil that is dilated—not the entire eye. This allows the examiner to see through the pupil to the retina. Visual acuity tests alone are not sufficient to detect diabetic retinopathy in its early stages. A tonometry test to measure fluid pressure inside the eye. A fluorescein angiography test, if more serious retinal changes, such as macular edema, are suspected. Fluorescein angiography is an eye test that uses a special dye and camera to look at blood flow in the retina. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) testing may be used to gain a clearer picture of the retina and its supporting layers. OCT is a type of medical imaging technology that produces high-resolution cross-sectional and three-dimensional images of the eye. Also, an Amsler Grid test can detect early and sometimes subtle visual changes in a variety of macular diseases, including diabetic macular edema. The first image below shows an Amsler Grid as seen with unimpaired vis Continue reading >>

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in American adults. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. In some people with diabetic retinopathy, blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In others, normal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. In the disease's early stages, a person may not notice changes to his or her vision. But over time, diabetic retinopathy can get worse and cause vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes. The pictures below show how person with diabetic retinopathy sees: What are the stages of Diabetic Retinopathy? Diabetic retinopathy has four stages: Mild Nonproliferative Retinopathy. At this stage, microaneurysms occur. They are small areas of balloon-like swelling in the retina's tiny blood vessels. Moderate Nonproliferative Retinopathy. This stage is when blood vessels that nourish the retina are blocked. Severe Nonproliferative Retinopathy. In this stage,Many more blood vessels are blocked, depriving several areas of the retina with their blood supply. These areas of the retina send signals to the body to grow new blood vessels for nourishment. Proliferative Retinopathy. At this advanced stage, the signals sent by the retina for nourishment trigger the growth of new blood vessels. These new blood vessels are abnormal and fragile. They grow along the retina and along the surface of the clear, vitreous gel that fills the inside of the eye. By themselves, these blood vessels do not cause symptoms or vision loss. However, they have thin, fragile walls. If they leak blood, severe vision loss and even blindness can result. Continue reading >>

Retinopathy

Retinopathy

The Facts Retinopathy refers to damage to the blood vessels of the retina. The retina, at the back of the eye, provides a window to the circulatory system. By examining it, a doctor can inspect a sample of the body's blood vessels and detect early signs of complications of diabetes or high blood pressure, as well as many other diseases (e.g., sickle cell disease, anemia, lupus). Retinopathy can also be seen in premature newborns. Some of the kinds of damage that your doctor may see in your retina are hypertensive retinopathy, a complication of high blood pressure (hypertension), and diabetic retinopathy, a complication of long-term diabetes. It's unusual for hypertension to impair vision, but hypertensive retinopathy can lead to blockage of retinal arteries or veins, which in turn may eventually result in the loss of vision. Smoking and diabetes increase the risk of developing hypertensive retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is a deterioration of the blood vessels in the retina that usually affects both eyes. It is the leading cause of blindness in North America. Almost all people with diabetes show signs of retinal damage after about 20 years of living with the condition. Causes Retinopathy is usually a sign of another medical condition. Although several medical conditions (e.g., sickle cell disease, lupus) can cause retinopathy, the most common causes are diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure). Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes. Diabetes causes high blood sugar levels, which can damage blood vessels. The damaged vessels around the retina can leak protein and fats, forming deposits that can interfere with vision. The damaged blood vessels are also not as effective at carrying oxygen to the retina, which can also cause damage. In the advanced sta Continue reading >>

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

What is diabetic retinopathy? Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition that affects the retinas of people with diabetes. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the eye and occurs as a result of high blood sugar (glucose) that people with diabetes have over a long period of time. The retina is a light-sensitive nerve tissue at the back of the eye. The retina converts the light rays that enter the eye into electrical impulses that travel along the optic nerve to the brain. Too much blood glucose can destroy the blood vessels in the back of the eye, preventing the retina from receiving the proper amount of nutrients it needs to maintain vision. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels in the retina. In the early stages of the disease (nonproliferative retinopathy), these blood vessels leak fluid and distort sight. In the more advanced stage (proliferative retinopathy), fragile new blood vessels grow around the retina and in the vitreous humor (a clear substance inside the eye). If these blood vessels are not treated, they may bleed and blur vision, or may scar and detach (disconnect) the retina. Anyone with diabetes (Type 1 or Type 2) is at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. The factors that affect risk include: The type of diabetes a person has (Type 1 or 2); How well-controlled the blood glucose is; and, How long a person has had diabetes. What are the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy? Usually, there are no symptoms of early diabetic retinopathy, and the person’s sight may not be affected until the condition is severe. Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include: The loss of central vision, for example, when reading or driving; Loss of the ability to see color; Blurred or distorted vision; Small spots (floaters). Because reti Continue reading >>

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

On this page: Diabetes and diabetic retinopathy • DR symptoms • Types of diabetic eye disease • Who gets diabetic retinopathy? • Minorities and diabetic eye disease • When is DR a disability? • Eye exam assistance program • Prevention • Diabetic retinopathy videos Diabetic retinopathy — vision-threatening damage to the retina of the eye caused by diabetes — is the leading cause of blindness among working-age Americans. The good news: Diabetic retinopathy often can be prevented with early detection, proper management of your diabetes and routine eye exams performed by your optometrist or ophthalmologist. According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the United States has the highest rate of diabetes among 38 developed nations, with approximately 30 million Americans — roughly 11 percent of the U.S. population between the ages of 20 and 79 — having the disease. About 90 percent of Americans with diabetes have type 2 diabetes, which develops when the the body fails to produce enough insulin — a hormone secreted by the pancreas that enables dietary sugar to enter the cells of the body — or the body becomes resistant to insulin. This causes glucose (sugar) levels in the bloodstream to rise and can eventually damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves or heart, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include obesity, an unhealthful diet and physical inactivity. Unfortunately, the prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes has increased significantly in the United States over the past 30 years. According to data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in December 2015, there were 1.4 million new cases of diabetes reported in the U.S. in 2014. Though this annual number is d Continue reading >>

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