Diabetes can lead to blindness – Diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy

Filed in: Diseases.

Diabetes is a complex metabolic disease that affects the entire vascular system of the body, including the eyes, leading to specific changes generically called diabetic retinopathy.

The symptoms of diabetes are frequent urination, abnormal thirst, abnormal hunger, anemia, fatigue, weight loss, etc. Your doctor makes the diagnosis based on clinical and laboratory investigations.

Diabetic retinopathy is a disease of the blood vessels that nourish the retina: they are weak, they break and "escape" from the fluid and blood in the retina (retinal hemorrhages), in addition, these blood vessels fail to carry nutrients and oxygen necessary. Through the retina (hypoxia), doing even more damage. Evolution is progressive, in years, and without proper treatment, this inevitably leads to blindness.

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The causes are not completely known, but once installed, their evolution can not be stopped, only decrease or maintain, and therefore, their early detection is essential, regardless of the glucose level.

In the early stages, diabetic retinopathy has no symptoms (loss of vision, pain or other signs), so all patients diagnosed with diabetes should perform an eye test periodically (1-2 times a year) to detect changes Retinals in early form. It is very important to start an effective treatment as soon as possible, when the disease is still in its infancy.

Diagnostic methods:

– Ophthalmological clinical examination with visual acuity measurements.

– Examination of the lower part of the eye.

– Fluorescein angiography is a method used after diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed to determine how severe the damage to the retina is; It consists of a successive series of photographs of the eye, which offer a clearer picture of retinal lesions.

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– Stereoscopic color photographs of the eye: to better show the lesions and observe their evolution over time.

– Retinal tomography – OCT – can diagnose some complications in the retina.

– Ultrasound of the posterior pole – to detect the proliferation of retinal detachment.

Treatment of diabetic retinopathy:

The treatment consists of the monitoring and treatment of diabetes itself, as well as the monitoring and specific treatment of diabetic retinopathy, by an ophthalmologist specializing in diseases of the retina.

Once treatment is started, diabetic retinopathy will continue to exist even if the patient has a normal level of blood sugar due to the general antidiabetic treatment.

The treatment of diabetic retinopathy depends on the location and severity of the disease. When the affected area is the peripheral retina and the damage is detected early, treatment and careful monitoring of the disease is continued. When the affected area is the macula (the center of the retina), laser treatment is necessary, in regular sessions.

In proliferative diabetic retinopathy (already advanced), laser treatment is used to stop the appearance and development of new blood vessels (laser points are applied throughout the retina).

In advanced cases, complex operations are required in the retina (vitrectomy with laser applications), followed by injection with expandable gas or silicone oil, as appropriate.

Diabetes can lead to blindness – Diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy, Source of article: https://www.brighthealing.com/diabetes-can-lead-to-blindness-diagnosis-and-treatment-of-diabetic- retinopathy /

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