How To Reverse Diabetic Retinopathy – Retinal diabetic retinopathy: can it be reversed? December 11, 2018 | By Dr Raja Rami Reddy P | Tags: blindness, diabetes, diabetes mellitus, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, hyperglycemia, vitreous injection, laser eye surgery, ophthalmologist, ophthalmology, retinal detachment, seamless vitrectomy, vitreous hemorrhage
The light-sensitive layer of retinal cells converts light into electrical signals, which are then sent to the brain, where they are converted into the images we see. A bright network of tiny blood vessels constantly supplies blood to the retina.
Hyperglycemia, a condition in which blood glucose levels are high, can affect every part of your body, including your precious eyes. A negative effect of hyperglycemia is blurred vision, which is a hallmark of diabetes.
If the sugar level does not stay at a normal level, the fog will not go away. Diabetes damages the blood vessels that supply blood to the retina of the eye. Can cause blindness.
Diabetic retinopathy is caused by hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar. In this condition, the blood vessels in the retina are damaged and swell or leak blood. It causes vision loss if undiagnosed and untreated. Diabetic retinopathy usually takes many years to progress to the stage where it can lead to total blindness.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) statistics, diabetic retinopathy accounts for approximately 5% of blindness worldwide. As the incidence of diabetes increases, so does the likelihood of people with diabetic retinopathy. By 2035, the number of people with diabetic retinopathy is expected to increase to approximately 592 million.
Countries like India have seen a dramatic increase in the incidence of diabetes and about 62.4 million people in India have diabetes. A pooled analysis of 22,896 diabetic patients from 35 population-based studies in Australia, the United States, Europe and Asia showed a prevalence of diabetic retinopathy of 34.6%.
Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes. In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, there are usually no signs or symptoms. As complications progress, it can cause:
Vitreous hemorrhage: occurs when new blood vessels begin to bleed into the vitreous fluid. If this complication is minor, you may see floaters. However, in severe hemorrhages, blood fills the vitreous cavity and temporarily blocks vision completely. This complication takes several weeks or months to heal, unless the retina is damaged.
Glaucoma: Diabetic retinopathy also causes new blood vessels to grow in the front of the eye. This causes an increase in eye pressure and disruption of the normal flow of fluids. Glaucoma can damage the optic nerve and lead to permanent blindness.
Retinal detachment: Retinal detachment occurs when damaged blood vessels pull the retina away from the supporting tissue. In this condition, you may initially notice floaters and flashes of light, and then a complete darkening of your vision.
Fortunately, diabetic retinopathy can be prevented and treated. Keeping blood sugar at optimal levels can help prevent this serious disease. Because controlled diabetes can also cause diabetic retinopathy, regular eye exams are recommended. This way, your eye doctor can diagnose and treat retinal damage as soon as possible. It is also very possible to reverse diabetic retinopathy if this sight-threatening condition is caught early.
Diabetic retinopathy is a serious disease caused by diabetes; therefore, it requires good management of blood sugar levels. In advanced stages of this eye complication, there are treatments such as eye injections for severe maculopathy or laser eye surgery.
State-of-the-art treatment facilities are available at reputed hospitals like Eye Care Institute. In addition to systemic diabetes control, retinal surgeons here offer laser surgery and intravitreal injections for macular edema, laser surgery for proliferative diabetic retinopathy, and sutureless microincision vitrectomy for retinal detachment in advanced cases. Your eye doctor may also prescribe intraocular steroids and other medications to treat this condition. Reputed hospitals also offer vitrectomy surgery to remove vitreous hemorrhage.
You can reduce your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy or help prevent the disease from getting worse by keeping your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol at optimal levels. To prevent diabetic retinopathy, choose a healthy lifestyle such as a balanced diet, regular exercise, not smoking, etc.
Don’t miss your regular eye exams, as this type of screening can catch many eye complications early and prevent vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy can be reversed to some extent with treatment. But it is better to prevent it through early diagnosis.
Dr. Reddy is a renowned retinal surgery specialist with over 20 years of experience in the field. He is the founder, director and chief retinal surgeon of the Eyecare Institute, Hyderabad, a referral center for retinal diseases. His areas of expertise include surgical retina, particularly complex vitreoretinal surgery for retinal detachment, vitreous hemorrhage, advanced diabetic retinopathy, macular holes and epiretinal membranes. He studied MBBS and MD at the prestigious Indian Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and was a specialist in the Department of Vitreo-Retina at the prestigious Center for Ophthalmic Sciences Dr. Rajendra Prasad, AIIMS, New Delhi. He is a member of the American Society of Retinal Surgeons and an active member of state and national academic societies. Diabetic retinopathy is a common complication of diabetes. It is believed to be irreversible, we learn from the doctor.
To create awareness about the disease. Diabetes is a chronic autoimmune disease that can affect the whole body and damage the heart, nerves, kidneys and eyes. One of the conditions caused by high blood sugar levels caused by diabetes is diabetic retinopathy, a serious sight-threatening eye disease. This disorder specifically affects the blood vessels of the retina. The early stages of diabetic retinopathy can be asymptomatic.
People may experience visual changes, such as difficulty reading or seeing distant objects, although only modest visual disturbances are noticed. Macular swelling and retinal vascular hemorrhage impair vision as the disease progresses, and later stages lead to retinal scarring, retinal detachment, and permanent vision loss. In this article
Explains all about diabetic retinopathy and whether it can be reversed. (Click here to read all about diabetic retinopathy)
If your blood sugar fluctuates too much or is too high, you can develop diabetic retinopathy. Other manifestations of diabetic retinopathy include:
A dilated eye exam may be done to detect retinopathy. It is a short and painless procedure; your doctor uses eye drops to dilate the pupils as part of screening for diabetic retinopathy and other eye diseases. If you have diabetes, you should have regular eye exams. If you have diabetic retinopathy, treatment must be started very quickly to stop the damage and save your vision.
Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include: fluctuating or blurred vision, loss of vision, and empty or dark spots or dark strings floating in the field of vision.
There is no cure for diabetic retinopathy, but there are treatments that can help reduce, delay, or in some cases help reverse vision loss.
Treatment is based entirely on an eye exam. If you develop proliferative diabetic retinopathy or macular edema, you should see your doctor immediately. Intravitreal injection of vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors is a potential treatment option for progressive diabetic retinopathy. This medication reduces fluid retention and prevents the growth of new blood vessels. Additional treatment options include photocoagulation, panretinal photocoagulation, and vitrectomy.
The only ways to stop diabetes-related eye damage are timely eye exams, early detection of vision problems, proper medical care, and regular follow-up with an eye doctor. There are many effective treatments for diabetic retinopathy, but they work best when the disease is caught early.
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High blood sugar damages the small blood vessels responsible for supplying blood to the retina. They leak fluid into the retina, causing it to swell. Over time, the retina is deprived of oxygen and deteriorates, causing vision problems. The early stages may go unnoticed due to minimal symptoms. Advanced diabetic retinopathy
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