Diabetic retinopathy is a condition where sub-optimal control of diabetes leads to damages in the retina. Basically, the eye is like a camera. The images which pass through the eye,land on the retina or the screen at the back of the eye. These images are sent to the brain to be processed. In diabetic retinopathy, this screen starts to get damaged,gradually. Initially small points of blood vessels start to appear on the ritina,called microaneurysms.These aneurysms are however weak blood vessels,which over passage of time start to rupture and bleed into the retina. Also, fluid starts to accumulate on the retina ,known as diabetic macular edema.However ,although all these changes keep occurring in your eyes, diabetic retinopathy symptoms occur very late.You would not notice any changes in your vision until about 70-80% of the retina is damaged. All of a sudden one fine day you might experience blurred vision or black spots in the eye, or more commonly,small speck or insect-like spots floating in front of you ,called floaters.In severe cases, you might wake up with part of your vision in one of the eyes lost. What would have probably happened is that there would have been significant bleeding inside the eye. In short, once there is a loss of visiondue to diabetes ,it might be difficult to recover the vision.In advanced cases , the retina or the screen gets detached or pulled off from the wall, with a considerable vision loss.This is called retinal detachment.
Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic eye disease or diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of blindness in India. But the problem is it has a very late presentation. By the time patient experience diabetic retinopathy symptoms like reduced vision, upto 80% of the eyes are damaged irreversibly.
However, the good news is that with early screening of retina we can prevent this catastrophe from occurring. For this we have the retinal funds photography which captures the retinal images for analysis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy.
Diacare – Prevent Diabetic Eye Disease
So How Do We Prevent This From Happening?
First and foremost, good diabetes control.
Secondly, we check your eyes yearly once ,to make sure that your retina is ok. We use a special digital device , called a fundus camera, which captures the image of your retina through your eyes. This is called digital retinal photography. With this we grade the eye into categories like,non proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) or proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). Depending on the severity, patients are sent to an eye doctor for laser treatment, which involves caurterising the leaking blood vessels using a laser light.In some cases injections are given in the retina
This is extremely helpful in identifying the extent of damage due to diabetes, not only inside the eyes,but also these results can be extrapolated to other organs, like the kidneys. For example,if your retina is damaged, so will be your kidneys,since essentially ,it isin the same body.