"Do as much as possible for the patient, and as little as possible to the patient."

- DR BERNARD LOWN

Diabetic Retinopathy

The condition of diabetic retinopathy happens with those who have diabetes that results in progressive damage to the retina. The condition is due to the damaged caused to the small blood vessels responsible for nourishing the retina. Clouding of the vision and swelling of the retinal tissue is due to leaking of the blood and other fluids from these small blood vessels. Both eyes can get affected by this condition. There are more chances of diabetic retinopathy in those people who have been suffering from diabetes for a very long time. Diabetic retinopathy has been regarded as a serious sight-threatening condition.

Symptoms & Causes

Difficulty in seeing well at night, seeing floaters or spots in the particular field of vision, problem in seeing or having blurred vision, empty or dark spot in the center of the vision, cobwebs, tiny specks or spiders floating in the vision
The condition of diabetic retinopathy is caused due to prolonged period of high blood glucose levels. Over the period of time, it also leads to the damage of small blood vessels in the retina. This may result into swelling and hemorrhage of the retina.

Treatments

Diabetic Retinopathy’s first 3 stages do not require any treatment. Treatment is only required when a person has developed macular edema. Diabetic people should manage their blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This prevents the progression of diabetic retinopathy.
Laser surgery for diabetic retinopathy is used to treat the stage of proliferative retinopathy and is called scatter laser treatment. The procedure shrinks the unusual blood vessels. A surgeon infuses 1000 to 2000 laser burns which are used in the areas of the retina. These laser burns are also placed far away the macula that leads to the lessening of the unusual blood vessels. The entire procedure requires 2-3 sessions as a large amount of laser burns are required. The procedure of scatter laser is recommended before the bleeding of the new blood vessels. That is why it is required to have a dilated eye exam. The scatter laser can be possible even if the bleeding has started that vastly depends on the amount of bleeding. Vitrectomy is the surgical procedure which is performed when there is severe bleeding.