November 14th is World Diabetes Day. Starting now, we will publish many articles relevant to Diabetes to
create awareness on Diabetes and its complications.
... Diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of loss of vision in diabetic
patients. Diabetes can cause damage to the eye in four main ways,
Diabetic Retinopathy is the leading cause of permanent loss of vision in diabetic patients. Vision loss can be restored by timely treatment in some cases, but in many cases, vision loss can be partially or fully irreversible.
What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
It is the changes in the retina of diabetic patients.
What kind of changes occurs in the retina?
Blood vessels in the retina become weak and leaky
Small bleeds with edema(water logging) and exudates(deposits)
Formation of new blood vessels that are very weak
Bleeding into the cavity of the eye
Can anyone develop diabetic retinopathy?
Any diabetic patient even if diabetes is well controlled
Risk increases with duration of diabetes
Greater risks are in young insulin dependent diabetics, poorly controlled diabetics, pregnant diabetics (gestational diabetics)
What are the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy?
Can remain asymptomatic even till late stages.
Common symptoms are blurring of vision, floaters and sudden loss of vision
Advanced diabetic retinopathy can lead to secondary glaucoma causing painful visual loss.
How often should a diabetic patient have eye check ups?
Once diabetes has been diagnosed yearly checkups is a must.
If diabetic changes on the retina starts occuring , checkups should be as per the ophthalmologists advice.
What tests would be performed for a diabetic patient?
Apart from checking vision and testing glasses, a detailed examination of the retina is performed after dilatation of the pupil.
Fundus fluoroscien angiography may be required for some patients in which a dye is injected into the arm vein followed by taking a series of photographs of the retina.
What are the different treatments available for diabetic retinopathy?
Surgery in advanced stage where removal of clotted blood inside the eye or repair of a detached retina becomes necessary.
Can laser treatment improve the vision?
Laser treatment is done in an attempt to prevent further loss and preserve existing vision. It is successful in over 50% of the patients if adequate control of blood sugar along with regular follow up is maintained.
Does laser treatment prevent further visual loss?
No. Regular follow up examinations as per the ophthalmologists advice is needed.
Further laser therapy or surgery may be needed at later stages.
Is laser treatment a complicated procedure?
No, it is a simple ,painless, outpatient procedure,
There are no restrictions after the procedure
What is diabetics role in the prevention of Diabetic Retinopathy?
Keep diabetes under good control
Have periodic eye checkups
Take prompt treatment as advised by the ophthalmologist.
Facilities utilized to diagnose and treat diabetic retinopathy:
HeineDirect and indirect ophthalmoscopes for detailed retinal evaluation]
532laser with slit lamp and indirect delivery system for laser photocoagulation
Digital fundus camera with imaging software for instant retreival for fluoroscien angiography and fundus photography
Operating microscope and state of the art vitreoretinal microsurgical system and
equipment for vitreous surgery
Highly qualified retinal surgeon to perform laser treatment and vitreo retinal
What is optic neuropathy?
It is a condition of the optic nerve (the main nerve that takes light from the eye and delivers to the brain) where the blood supply to the nerve is reduced either suddenly or gradually causing irreversible loss of vision.
Can optic neuropathy be prevented?
In most patients, good control of blood sugar and regular followup for early detection of nerve damage can help in salvaging useful vision.
What is Glaucoma?
It is a condition where the pressure inside the eye become excessive and causes damage to the optic nerve.
Can Glaucoma be prevented?
Regular check of the Intraocular pressure and assessment of the optic nerve status along with a complete eye examination can help in the early detection of glaucoma even before the damage becomes permanent.
However once vision is lost , it is lost for ever and cannot be recovered. Hence regular checkup is extremely important.
What is cataract?
It is a condition where the natural lens of the eye becomes clouded and obtructs light causing haziness of vision. In Diabetes the condition tends to occur around 10years earlier.
Can my vision which is lost to cataract be recovered?
Yes, Vision lost solely due to cataract can be completely recovered by Advanced techniques of cataract surgery (phakoemulsification) and Intraocular lens Implantation.
For More Information Contact:
Sri Venkateshwara Nethralaya
Kengeri: 91-80-28487484, 28488484
RajaRajeshwari Nagar: 91-80-28603343, 28601143, 28607713
Ramanagara: 91-80-27274773, 27274776