Diabetic Retinopathy

This condition is linked to type 1 or type 2 diabetics. The blood vessels on the retina containing the light sensitive cells are damaged. If you have diabetes, initially you may not notice any changes to your vision. However, in time, diabetic retinopathy can cause mild to severe vision loss in one or both eyes. A regular eye examination by an eye-care professional is essential to map out, and best control the progression.

Fast facts on diabetic retinopathy

  • 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, difficulty seeing 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 controlling diabetes and managing early symptoms are the most effective ways to prevent DR.

What is diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy header

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.

There are two types of DR:

  • 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 years have DR.

Worldwide, one-third of the estimated 285 million people with diabetes show signs of DR

Useful link:  All about Vision