Diabetes and Eyes:
We cannot prevent diabetes in spite of lifestyle changes & healthier living but we can certainly prevent vision loss due to diabetic retinopathy. High levels of blood sugar can lead to early Cataract development and or can lead to a condition known as Diabetic Retinopathy.
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels in the retina. At this point, most people do not notice any changes in their vision. Some people develop a condition called macular edema. It occurs when the blood vessels leak fluid and lipids onto the macula, (The central part of the retina that lets us see in detail). The fluid makes the macula swell, thus blurring the vision.
What are the symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy?
It often has no early warning signs. At some point, though, patient may have macular edema. It blurs vision. In extreme cases, a person will only be able to tell light from dark in that eye. It may take the blood anywhere from a few days to months to clear.
What can I do to prevent diabetic complications in my eyes?
- Strict blood pressure and blood sugar control
- Once a year eye examination with your eye doctor.
- Talk to your physician or your eye doctor about any vision changes
With early detection and timely treatment can prevent blindness in nearly all diabetics!
- Laser treatment: Pan retinal Photocoagulation (PRP) laser surgery is performed in proliferative diabetic retinopathy patients to prevent severe vitreous hemorrhages and blindness.
- Special Injections like Inj. Avastin or Lucentis is given.
- Surgery (Virectomy).