Diabetes mellitus is the leading cause of blindness in adults 20 to 80 years of age and can affect virtually every ocular structure. It has been estimated that patients with diabetes are 25 to 30 times more likely to become blind than persons of similar age who are not diabetic. Diabetes is an enormous public health problem, not only because of the ophthalmic complications, but also because of the neurologic and vascular sequelae, and the problem will only increase in magnitude as the population ages.Moreover, it is estimated that up to one half of all diabetic persons are unaware that they have the disease.For many patients, however, timely intervention can substantially reduce the likelihood of blindness .
What is diabetic retinopathy?
If you have diabetes, you probably know that your body can't use or store sugar properly. When your blood sugar gets too high, it can damage the blood vessels (swells & leaks) in your eyes. This damage may lead to diabetic retinopathy.
How Do I Know If I Have Diabetic Retinopathy?
There are often no symptoms of early diabetic retinopathy therefore it will be difficult for you to tell except Blood Sugar level will be raised or borderline it is better to check your eyes with higher end 3D OCT machine which detects very early changes in Eyes (Fundus/Retina /Pardah)
What are the different types of diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy is classified as either non-proliferative (background) or proliferative.
Non-proliferative retinopathy is the early stage, where small retinal blood vessels break and leak.
In proliferative retinopathy, new blood vessels grow abnormally within the retina. This new growth can cause scarring or retinal detachment, which can lead to vision loss. The new blood vessels may also grow or bleed into the vitreous humor, the transparent gel filling the eyeball in front of the retina. Proliferative retinopathy is much more serious than the nonproliferative form and can lead to total blindness.
What are the signs and symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy?
In the early form of diabetic retinopathy called non-proliferative or background retinopathy you might have no symptoms at all.
In non-proliferative or background retinopathy leads to macular edema, you may notice a gradual blurring of your vision, and have difficulty doing close work such as reading, knitting etc. You might have blurred vision.
If the abnormal blood vessels associated with proliferative retinopathy bleed, vision may become spotty, hazy, or disappear completely.