Diabetic retinopathy is a disease that affects people with diabetes. It mostly targets their eyes and can lead to blindness. Here are frequently asked questions about diabetic retinopathy:
Why Does Diabetic Retinopathy Occur?
The problem usually arises when diabetic people are not careful about their sugar intake, which leads to an excess of sugar or glucose deposit in blood vessels. It may take a while for wider blood vessels to be affected, but smaller blood vessels do not usually have a chance. Some of these smaller blood vessels are situated in your eyes and can easily get blocked.
Blood vessels transport blood rich in oxygen and nutrients; these nutrients nourish organs and cells. If the blood vessels are blocked, it means that nutrients won't nourish organs and cells; they start to die. In the case of your eye, the blood vessels won't be able to transport nutrients to the cells in your eye, especially the retina where images are formed. Over time, retina cells start to die progressively, which can eventually lead to blindness.
Sometimes, a blockage can lead to a build-up in pressure causing a tear or burst, which leads to leakage. Leakage can cause fluid build-up, which can lead to vision loss or distortion.
Is There a Cure for Diabetic Retinopathy?
Yes, there is, but this depends on various factors. As indicated above, blocked blood vessels can lead to nutrient deficiency, which leads to the death of cells. Blockage can also lead to blood vessel tears and bursts that cause leaks.
Depending on what happens, you can either be diagnosed with glaucoma or DME (diabetic macula edema). Glaucoma is when a blockage leads to the death of cells, while DME is when a blockage leads to an increase in pressure, which leads to blood vessel tears and bursts that cause leakage.
Glaucoma has no cure, mainly because dead cells cannot be restored. That is why ophthalmologists, optometrists and cataract surgeons need to diagnose you early. An early diagnosis helps the eye doctor apply treatment to slow down or prevent cell death. These treatments can include laser surgery, oral medication and eye drops.
Sometimes, DME can self-heal, forming scars on your retina. These scars pull your retina from its position, causing blindness. You may require surgery to restore your retina to its position and thus restore your vision.
If there is a fluid build-up, the eye surgeon performs surgery to drain the fluid and repair the torn or burst blood vessels.
To learn more about diabetic retinopathy, reach out to a local cataract doctor.
Welcome to my blog. My name is Matthew, and my blog focuses on everything related to optometry, with an emphasis on making the most of your vision consultations with your optometrists. Although I am not an optometrist, I have been involved in the industry for years as a glasses wearer. I hope that the facts, ideas and range of posts about optometry here help you, and if you share them, I hope they help your friends as well. When I'm not typing on a computer, I love to do woodworking, ski, read, follow politics and spend time with my family.