Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness in the world. It may lead to frequent fluctuations, floater and spots in your vision which can also create pain, pressure or constant redness of the eye. The most significant complication of Diabetes in eyes is Diabetic Retinopathy.
Symptoms of DR:
Uncontrolled diabetes can affect eyes, nerves and kidneys. Individuals with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts at a younger age and are twice as likely to develop glaucoma as are non-diabetics. However, the primary vision problem caused by diabetes is Diabetic Retinopathy which damages the blood vessels of the retina.
In uncontrolled diabetes, high sugar in the blood can damage blood vessels of the eye. As damage progresses, they begin to leak which results in accumulation of the fluid in the central part of the retina. This deterioration of the blood vessels causes hindrance in supply of oxygen and nutrients needed by retina to stay healthy.
Diabetic retinopathy is a silent vision stealer. In early stage, there is hardly any symptom. Hence, a diabetic must strictly get his eye exam done every year. If detected early, vision loss can be prevented. But, once the damage is done, the effects are irreversible.
It has been observed that about 80% of long standing diabetics (15 years or more of diabetes) have some damage in the blood vessels of retina. Diabetic retinopathy can occur at a young age in juvenile diabetics.
At ISHA NETRLAYA for all Diabetic patients we do a comprehensive eye investigation to detect Diabetic Retinopathy. The eye exam includes visual acuity tests, eye pressure measurements and direct visualization of the retina with an ophthalmoscope and in some cases we may require more extensive scanning like Fundus Fluorescein Angiography (FFA) and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to capture the details of the damage caused by abnormal blood vessels & assess the severity of the condition.
Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment
In Diabetic Retinopathy the most common line of treatment for Diabetic retinopathy is Laser photocoagulation. These lasers are used to save the existing sight only. In laser treatment, the retina specialist uses laser to destroy areas of retina deprived of oxygen which helps to prevent growth of new blood vessels into these areas. It is usually done in multiple sittings which varies from patient to patient.
Intravitreal Injections are used in patients with gross swelling in the macula. It may require injections into the eye of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitor drug or steroid to reduce the growth of abnormal blood vessels and leakage of fluid from them. These may also be used prior to surgery to reduce the bleeding.
With Advancement of Technology injections like Avastin, Leucentis, Eyelea, and Ozurdex are being used frequently to treat Diabetic Retinopathy.
In the stage where it happens that sometimes the new blood vessels bleed in the center of the eye then this condition is called as Vitreous hemorrhage which can lead to sudden loss of vision. If the vitreous hemorrhage is persistent then this procedure called Vitrectomy is recommended. This procedure for diabetic retinopathy which removes the blood and scar tissue from the center of the eye. This procedure has helped many patients to achieve improvement in their vision post-surgery.
At Isha Netralaya we advise treatment only after a detailed evaluation and after analyzing the stage of the disease, the age of the patient and the recommendations of the retina specialist. The retina department is Equipped with the latest technology that enables us to diagnose progression of diseases at a very early stage and start immediate treatment.