Diabetic retinopathy occurs when high blood sugar levels cause damage to blood vessels in the retina. Diabetic retinopathy can progress to this more severe type, known as proliferative diabetic retinopathy when damaged blood vessels get blocked and new, abnormal blood vessels grow in the retina.
The symptoms of proliferative diabetic retinopathy include
You can’t always prevent diabetic retinopathy. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to do the following:
If you or someone close to you has developed diabetic retinopathy, do not put off an eye test. Walk into Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Hospital for an appointment with top specialists and surgeons in the field of eye care.
Visual acuity testing: This eye chart test measures a person’s vision
Tonometry: This test measures pressure inside the eye.
Pupil dilation: Drops placed on the eye’s surface widen the pupil, allowing a physician to examine the retina and optic nerve.
Comprehensive dilated eye exam: It allows the doctor to check the retina for:
Optical coherence tomography (OCT): It uses light waves to produce images of the retina to assess the amount of fluid.
Fundus fluorescein angiography(FFA): During this test, your doctor will inject a dye into your arm, allowing them to track how the blood flows in your eye. They’ll take pictures of the dye circulating inside of your eye to determine which vessels are blocked, leaking, or broken.
B Scan Ultrasonography: It uses ultrasound waves to image the eye when there is no view of the retina due to vitreous haemorrhage.
The goal of any treatment is to slow or stop the progression of the disease. Diet and exercise and controlling blood sugar levels can help control the progression of the disease.
Laser : Widespread blood vessel growth in the retina, which occurs in proliferative diabetic retinopathy, can be treated by creating a pattern of scattered laser burns across the retina. This causes abnormal blood vessels to shrink and disappear. With this procedure, some side vision may be lost in order to safeguard central vision.
Medical management: Injection of anti VEGF medication into the eye may be used in selected patients with bleeding into the eye.
Surgical management: Vitrectomy involves removing scar tissue and blood from the vitreous fluid of the eye.
Written by: Dr. Preetha Rajasekaran – Consultant Ophthalmologist, Porur