UNDERSTANDING DIABETIC RETINOPATHY

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that affects the eyes. It is usually seen when the light sensitive cells present in the back portion of the eye are affected. When your blood sugar levels consistently remain high, you have increased chances of developing this eye complication.1

Diabetic Retinopathy – Intolife

CAUSES OF DIABETIC RETINOPATHY

When the sugar levels of the body are very high for a long time, they can block the tiny blood vessels that keep the retina (back portion of the eye) healthy. Consequently, the blood supply to the eye gets cut off. Although the eye tries to create new blood vessels, they are not as effective as the original ones and leak blood and fluid in the retina.1

If the condition is not treated early, more blood vessels tend to get blocked. As a result, there is a formation of a scar tissue caused by all the newly developed blood vessels. All of these factors put extra pressure on the retina causing it to detach from the eye. In severe cases, retinal detachment may even lead to blindness.2

SYMPTOMS OF DIABETIC RETINOPATHY

Initially, diabetic retinopathy may show mild vision issues or no symptoms at all. However, as the disease progresses, you may witness the following symptoms1,2

  • Appearance of spots or dark strings floating before the eyes
  • Blurring of vision
  • Fluctuation of vision (alternation of vision between clear and diffuse)
  • Inability to see colors
  • Empty/dark areas in vision
  • Loss of central vision

The most severe complication of diabetic retinopathy may manifest in the form of vision loss or blindness. Moreover, diabetic retinopathy has a tendency to affect both the eyes.1

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