If you have Diabetes, you are at the risk of developing Diabetic Retinopathy, a serious eye disease which can cause permanent vision loss if not treated. However, with good control of blood sugar levels, blood lipids, and blood pressure, you can lower the risk of the eye disease.
This article will help you understand the eye disease more and learn about ways how you can reduce the risk as well as identify it and seek proper treatment.
What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetic Retinopathy is one of the complications of Diabetes that affects the eye. It occurs when high blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels in the retina. Due to the damage, the blood vessels swell and leak. The diabetic eye disease can cause vision loss and eventually lead to complete blindness.
There are two stages of Diabetic Retinopathy:-
- NDPR (Non-proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy) NDPR is the initial stage of Diabetic Retinopathy. It involves leaking and swelling of the blood vessels in the retina, which if not controlled can lead to loss of vision.
- PDR (Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy)
PDR is the advanced stage of Diabetic Retinopathy. This stage involves the growth of new blood vessels which can bleed into the vitreous and either cause you to see floaters or dim/block your peripheral and central vision.
Identifying Diabetic Retinopathy
If you have Diabetes, an annual eye exam is a must for an early diagnosis. The following symptoms can indicate the occurrence of the eye disease:
- Blurred vision
- Dim vision
- Vision loss
- Impaired colour vision
- Dark spots/floaters in your vision
- Fluctuating vision
Diagnosing Diabetic Retinopathy:-
As discussed above, getting an annual eye exam helps in early detection which, in turn, can help you treat the eye disease and prevent it from progressing. When you visit an ophthalmologist, he/she will ask you about your medical history and determine your vision through an eye chart test. The doctor will use an ophthalmoscope to examine your retina.
Managing Diabetes to manage Diabetic Retinopathy:-
Effective management of Diabetes is essential to lower the risk/manage Diabetic Retinopathy. For Type 1 Diabetes, it’s important to follow an insulin routine tailored to your need and an appropriate diet.
For Type 2 Diabetes, being physically active, maintaining a healthy body weight, following a balanced diet, and leading an overall healthy lifestyle are the proper management measures.
You can also join support groups/communities to learn more ways of managing your Diabetes to lower the risk of complications.
Eye health maintenance tips:-
These tips can help you maintain your eye health and lower the risk of Diabetes-related vision complication:
- Keep your blood sugar levels in control:- Have an A1c blood test conducted several times a year to keep track of your blood sugar levels.
- Quit smoking:-Smoking can worsen your blood sugar. It’s a must to quit smoking if you have Diabetes.
- Check your cholesterol levels:- High LDL is linked to blood vessel damage. Make sure to get your blood tested for finding how much LDL and HDL cholesterol you have.
- Check your blood pressure:- Make sure check your blood pressure every time you visit your doctor as part of your Diabetes management plan.
We hope you’ve gained useful information with this guide. Stay tuned to this space for more interesting write-ups about Diabetic Retinopathy and other eye health disorders.
For a proper Diabetic Retinopathy treatment, you can visit Disha Eye Hospital and consult with our eye specialists. We are a leading eye hospital in West Bengal that provides quality eye care at affordable rates. Learn more at http://www.dishaeye.org/vitreo-retinal.