Diabetic Eye Disorder

Diabetes is the number one cause of blindness in people aged 35-55. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease.

What causes diabetic retinopathy?

Changes in the blood vessels of the retina cause diabetic retinopathy. High blood-sugar levels can damage blood vessels in the retina, the nerve layer at the back of the eye that senses light and helps to send images to the brain. 

Types of diabetic retinopathy

There are two types of diabetic retinopathy: 

1) Nonproliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (NPDR) - Also known as background retinopathy, NPDR is an early stage of diabetic retinopathy. In this stage, tiny blood vessels within the retina leak blood or fluid. The leaking fluid causes the retina to swell or to form deposits called exudates. May people with diabetes have mild NPDR, which usually doesn't affect their vision. When vision is affected it is the result of macular edema and/or macular ischemia. 

2) Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (PDR) - Is present when abnormal new vessels begin growing on the surface of the retina or optic nerve. The main cause of PDR is widespread closure of retinal blood vessels, pre-venting adequate blood flow. The retina responds by growing new blood vessels in an attempt to supply blood to the area where the original vessels closed.

PDR may cause more severe vision loss than NPDR because it can affect both central and peripheral vision. 

How is diabetic retinopathy treated?

The best treatment is to prevent the development of retinopathy as much as possible. Strict control of your blood sugar will significantly reduce the long-term risk of vision loss from diabetic retinopathy. If high blood pressure and kidney problems are present, they need to be treated. 

1) Laser surgery/treatments - Laser surgery is often recommended for people with macular edema, PDR, and neovascular glaucoma. 

2) Vitreous Injections - In advanced PDR, our doctors may recommend vitreous injections. During this procedure, the blood-filled vitreous is removed and replaced with a clear solution. 

Vision Loss is largely preventable

If you have diabetes, it's important to know that today, with improved methods of diagnosis and treatment, only a small percentage of people who develop retinopathy have serious vision problems. Early detection against loss of vision. 

It at all possible, we recommend to do a yearly diabetic eye exam. Continued care and education is also key. 

To be precise and as accurate as we can in your diabetic eye disorder treatment we use an OCT machine, state-of-the-art medical equipment that takes optic nerve and retinal images for glaucoma, diabetes, macular degeneration and other retinal problems.