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What Happens When You Have Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic Retinopathy: Take Care Of Your Eyes If You Have Diabetes - Healthxchange

Diabetic Retinopathy: Take Care Of Your Eyes If You Have Diabetes - Healthxchange

Diabetic Retinopathy: Take Care of Your Eyes if You Have Diabetes ​Diabetic Retinopathy: Take Care of Your Eyes if You Have Diabetes Long standing diabetes may lead to retina damage and vision loss.  Singapore National Eye Centre gives an overview and why it’s important to have regular eye examinations. your eyes regularly if you have diabetes. The retina is the layer that lines the inside of the back of the eye. The function of the retina is very much like the film in a camera. It contains millions of light-sensing cells that detect the images we see. Diabetes can cause damage to the retina, causing loss of vision due to swelling of the retina, insufficient blood supply to the retina cells, bleeding inside the eye or scarring and detachment of the retina. Diabetes damages the small blood vessels in the retina over time. These small blood vessels can leak, causing swelling of the retina. They can also become blocked, causing the retina to react by trying to grow new blood vessels. These abnormal and fragile new vessels bleed into the cavity of the eye. Scars can form from these new vessels which then pull on the retina and cause it to detach. All these factors can lead to severe and permanent vision loss. The symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include: Dark clouds in your field of vision due to bleeding inside the eye Patients usually have no symptoms – vision is perfectly normal – in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. Once vision is affected, the diabetic retinopathy is usually severe. The risk of diabetic retinopathy increases with the duration of diabetes. Important risk factors that worsen diabetic retinopathy include: If you have diabetes, you should control your blood sugar level, blood pressure and cholesterol to reduce the risk of diabetic retinop 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 >>

Treatment Of Diabetic Retinopathy And Macular Edema

Treatment Of Diabetic Retinopathy And Macular Edema

On this page: Lasers for diabetic retinopathy treatment • Preparing for laser treatment • Non-laser treatment of diabetic macular edema • Vitrectomy and other treatments • Steroid eye drops 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. [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 new blood vessels that form in the retina in response to VEGF are fragile and increase in number, leading Continue reading >>

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes and a leading cause of blindness. It occurs when diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels inside the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. A healthy retina is necessary for good vision. If you have diabetic retinopathy, at first you may notice no changes to your vision. But over time, diabetic retinopathy can get worse and cause vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes. Who is at risk for diabetic retinopathy? All people with diabetes--both type 1 and type 2--are at risk. That's why everyone with diabetes should get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. During pregnancy, diabetic retinopathy may be a problem for women with diabetes. To protect vision, every pregnant woman with diabetes should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam as soon as possible. Your doctor may recommend additional exams during your pregnancy. How diabetic retinopathy causes vision loss? Blood vessels damaged from diabetic retinopathy can cause vision loss in two ways: Fragile, abnormal blood vessels can develop and leak blood into the centre of the eye, blurring vision. This is proliferative retinopathy and is the fourth and most advanced stage of the disease. Fluid can leak into the centre of the macula, the part of the eye where sharp, straight-ahead vision occurs. The fluid makes the macula swell, blurring vision. This condition is called macular edema . It can occur at any stage of diabetic retinopathy, although it is more likely to occur as the disease progresses. About half of the people with proliferative retinopathy also have macular edema. Same scene viewed by a person with diabetic retinopathy Symptoms of Diabetic retinopathy Diabetic retinopathy often has no early warning signs. Do 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 >>

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 >>

Diabetic Retinopathy: Your Questions Answered

Diabetic Retinopathy: Your Questions Answered

Diabetic retinopathy is a common complication of diabetes and the leading cause of new-onset blindness in American adults. Effective treatments are available to preserve vision for eyes at risk of vision loss from diabetic retinopathy. The most opportune time for these treatments is before any vision has been lost, since even advanced diabetic retinopathy can be present when a person has no vision complaints or problems. What causes diabetic retinopathy? Diabetic retinopathy is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina, the thin, light-sensitive inner lining in the back of your eye. These changes are called diabetic retinopathy. How does diabetes damage the vessels in the retina? Elevated levels of blood glucose can damage the body in various ways, including harming the blood vessels in your eyes. Diabetes can affect the lining of the blood vessels in your eyes, causing them to thicken and develop leaks. Poor circulation in the retinal vessels can compound these problems by causing the production of fragile new vessels. What are the stages of retinopathy? Diabetic retinopathy is broadly classified as nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy and proliferative retinopathy. After 20 years of diabetes, most persons with diabetes will shows some signs of nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy, which is generally not sight-threatening itself unless macular edema is present. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is a more serious stage of retinopathy and poses a greater risk of hemorrhage into the vitreous humor, the clear gel that fills the center of the eye, or detachment of the retina leading to severe vision loss. Diabetic macular edema can occur with either nonproliferative or proliferative diabetic retinopathy. There are various levels of nonproliferative diabetic re 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 >>

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 >>

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

What is Diabetic Retinopathy? Diabetic retinopathy is a condition in which diabetes damages the blood vessels in the eye and causes them to leak. This can result in vision complications and even vision loss. What Are the Causes? Individuals with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are at risk for diabetic retinopathy, which occurs when elevated levels of blood sugar weaken the blood vessels in your eyes. In turn, these weak blood vessels leak fluid into your eye and blur your vision. Who Gets Diabetic Retinopathy? People with diabetes who do not keep their blood sugar under control are the most likely candidates to develop diabetic retinopathy. What Are the Symptoms? Many diabetics do not display symptoms of retinopathy, and when symptoms like blurry or obstructed vision do occur, it generally means the disease has progressed to a fairly severe point. If you have diabetes, it’s extremely important for you to get an eye exam with dilation once a year, so your doctor can look for signs of retinopathy. In some cases, your doctor will perform a test called a fluorescein angiography. This test uses dye to track circulation in your retinas and could provide a more definitive diagnosis. How Can Diabetic Retinopathy Be Treated? Diabetic retinopathy is far easier to treat and has fewer complications when caught early. Of course, maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly will help prevent and fight off the effects of diabetic retinopathy, but there is no sure-fire fix. Surgery may help with serious cases of diabetic retinopathy. Laser treatment has proven to be very effective at sealing leaking blood vessels, but success of this surgery can vary depending on how long the leak has been there. Can Diabetic Retinopathy Be Prevented? The most effective way to reduce your risk of d Continue reading >>

Eye Problems And Diabetes

Eye Problems And Diabetes

Eye problems and diabetes introduction If you have diabetes, regular visits to your ophthalmologist for eye exams are important to avoid eye problems. High blood sugar (glucose) increases the risk of diabetes eye problems. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults age 20 to 74. If you have eye problems and diabetes, don't buy a new pair of glasses as soon as you notice you have blurred vision. It could just be a temporary eye problem that develops rapidly with diabetes and is caused by high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar in diabetes causes the lens of the eye to swell, which changes your ability to see. To correct this kind of eye problem, you need to get your blood sugar back into the target range (90-130 milligrams per deciliter or mg/dL before meals, and less than 180 mg/dL one to two hours after a meal). It may take as long as three months after your blood sugar is well controlled for your vision to fully get back to normal. Blurred vision can also be a symptom of more serious eye problem with diabetes. The three major eye problems that people with diabetes may develop and should be aware of are cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy. A cataract is a clouding or fogging of the normally clear lens of the eye. The lens is what allows us to see and focus on an image just like a camera. Although anyone can get cataracts, people with diabetes get these eye problems at an earlier age than most and the condition progresses more rapidly than in people without diabetes. If you have a cataract, there is a cloudy area in the lens of your eye that results in the inability to focus light, and your vision is impaired. Symptoms of this eye problem in diabetes include blurred or glared vision. During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is removed or cleaned ou 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 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?

A degenerative eye disease that occurs in people with diabetes, diabetic retinopathy can lead to severe vision loss or blindness if left untreated. Unfortunately, diabetic retinopathy remains incurable. However, it is treatable and preventable. In order to detect and prevent diabetic retinopathy, it is important that diabetes patients understand the causes of the disease, as well as any additional risks to the health of their eyes. For people with diabetes, high blood sugar is a serious health problem. Because diabetics are unable to adequately absorb and process sugar, too much blood sugar can lead to kidney, heart, nerve, and eye damage. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the tiny blood vessels, known as capillaries, within the retina are damaged. In patients with non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR), the walls of the capillaries weaken and develop microaneurysms, or tiny bulges protruding from the blood vessels. Eventually these microaneurysms begin to leak blood and fluid into the retina, causing vision loss. In patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), not only are there progressively more microaneurysms, but new, abnormal capillaries begin to develop within the retina. As these blood vessels spread throughout the retina, they often begin to grow into the jelly-like substance (vitreous) that fills the center of the eye. Ultimately, this abnormal growth causes the capillaries to shut down, leading to vision loss and, in some cases, retinal detachment. Diabetic Retinopathy Risk Factors Patients with type I and type II diabetes are at a high risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. How much the disease progresses and spreads is in almost direct correlation to how long the patient has had diabetes and how long they have gone without consistent eye Continue reading >>

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