What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
More people across the United States suffer form loss of vision due to diabetic related complication than other forms of loosing vision. And the cause of this is diabetic retinopathy. Diabetics damage nerve endings and the nerve endings of the eyes are the most sensitive ones that get damaged due to this. Diabetic generally damages the tiny blood vessels inside the retina and these are the light sensitive tissues that are located at the back of the eye.The most damaging part of this is that diabetic retinopathy damages the nerve cells of both the eyes at one go. This can first result in a blurred vision and later if left untreated and uncared for can be the cause of blindness.
What is the Retina?
To know the importance of diabetic retinopathy, it would be wise first to take a look at what is retina?
Retina is a layer of nervous tissues. This is covering two thirds of the eye ball. This is the portion where the sensation of vision is initiated. So what is the rest of the eye ball composed off? It is nothing but a shell that is there to provide support and protection for the light sensitive cells. The rest of the eye ball provides nutrition and also helps focus the light on the retina. The retina could have been located in the brain, as this is nothing but an extension of the brain.
The light sensitive cells are of two types, they are the rods and the cones, which are distinctively identified by their names and their shapes. They are able to identify the kind of light that comes into the eye and send the pulses to the brain to distinguish it and de-cipher it. The de-ciphered values are sent to the brain and this is functioning as reading and interpreting the data.
From these basic facts it is quite clear any damage to the retina and one looses his / her vision. Everything in the eyes can be replaced but not the retina.
Who is at Risk for Developing Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy is developed by all those who have diabetics and leave it un-controlled. The only that one can do to put off the development of diabetic retinopathy is to control your glucose in the blood.
What are the symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy?
Some of the most common symptoms of diabetic retinopathy are blurred vision, loss of vision all of a sudden, experiencing some flashes and floaters in the eyes, finding a difficulty in reading and double vision. All of these symptoms may take place in an individual or a combination of any two. If a diabetic patient experiences even one of these symptoms, it is high time he / she went to a doctor.
Can Diabetic Retinopathy be prevented?
As stated above, diabetics retinopathy can be easily kept at bay, all one has to do is keep the blood sugar under control. Maintain a healthy diet and you need to exercise regularly. Get an eye examination done one in a year even if you don’t develop the symptoms mentioned above.
Can Diabetic Retinopathy be treated?
There is no treatment for diabetic retinopathy if not detected at the early stages of vision problem. So it is important that the patient identifies the problem if he has any at the earliest stages and then consults the doctor on the same. So it is important that a diabetic patient gets an eye exam done once in a year.
Diabetic retinopathy if detected at the earlier stages can be treated by Laser photocoagulation or Vitrectomy.