Diabetic retinopathy is a common diabetic eye disease. Diabetic Retinopathy is characterized by progressive damage to the retina, the light sensitive lining that lies to the back of the eye. If left untreated, it could lead to loss of sight.
Diabetic retinopathy results from damage to the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina. The blood vessels may leak blood and other fluids that may cause swelling of retinal tissue and cloud vision. Diabetic retinopathy affects both the eyes equally. The longer a person has untreated diabetes, the more progression of diabetic retinopathy.
Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy:
- Seeing spots in your field of vision
- Blurred vision
- Having a dark spot in the center of your vision
- Difficulty in color perception.
In diabetic patients, prolonged high blood sugar levels over a period of time could lead to accumulation of fluid in the lens of the eye, the region that controls the eye’s focus. This causes a change in the curvature of the lens and causes the development of blurred vision. The blurring of vision caused by the swelling will gradually subside when the blood sugar levels are brought under control. Control over blood sugar levels in a diabetic patient can slow the onset and progression of diabetic retinopathy.
Often there are no visual symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. That is why it is recommended that everyone with diabetes have a comprehensive dilated eye examination periodically – at least once a year.
If you are a diabetic, you can prevent or slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy by taking your prescribed medication, sticking to your diet, exercising regularly, keeping your blood pressure under control and avoiding alcohol & smoking.