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Diabetic Retinopathy - How To Avoid It?

Written and reviewed by
MD - Ophthalmology, MBBS
Ophthalmologist, Navi Mumbai  •  17 years experience
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HI,

I am Dr. Pavan Lohiya, Ophthalmologist and today we will discuss diabetic retinopathy. What is it? Normally diabetes is nothing but increasing blood sugar. But over the period of time when diabetes is not under control, it starts affecting our organs. And one of the major organs is the eye. When sugar is very high, it starts damaging the outer layer of the blood vessels. And ones it is damage, they start leaking. Inside the eye, there are small blood vessels. And when they start getting damage, in the early stage it starts appearing and if it not under the control, it can progress to an advanced stage, bleeding can occur or even retina can damage.

That particular time it becomes irreversible and blindness can occur. So, it is very important to detect early. There are 2 types of diabetic retinopathy. One is proliferative and another is non-proliferative. In proliferative, the damage is limited as it is an early stage. It affects a small part of the retina. So, we can treat it just by drops, sometimes laser. And in non-proliferative, you may need to go for laser treatment, some injections and if it is going to some advanced stage, then multiple surgeries may require. Even after doing multiple surgeries, vision may not gain. We will have limited vision recovery. So, important is doing regular eye check-ups. So, they should go every yearly dilated eye examination. Proper diagnosis is necessary to detect diabetic changes in the eye. If there are any changes, your Dr can tell you the treatment to avoid blindness. Diabetic retinopathy is treatable.

In major and urban areas, it is increasing day by day because of our sedentary lifestyle. So, it is very important to detect and treat it at an early stage. So, if you are at the early stage of diabetic retinopathy, mostly controlling sugar, lipid, hemoglobin, will help you in preventing diabetic retinopathy. If one worsen, then you need to consult your endocrinologist for controlling your sugar and your ophthalmologist may start some drops and may advise you to go for early laser.to prevent further complication. These are the normal treatment which is advised at early stages and if it is an advanced stage then retina specialist may be required. He may guide you about laser, injections and different types of surgeries to remove the blood or to settle the retina. so, for diabetics, go every year for an eye check-up. And if your Dr advises you to for 3-6 months check-up then goes for it. So, that we can detect and prevent the blindness.

Thank You.

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