Understanding Diabetic Retinopathy

One of the most common of diabetes complications is diabetic retinopathy. In this condition, progressive damage to the retina of the eye takes place due to uncontrolled levels of blood sugar. Retina is the light sensitive lining that lies at the back of the eye. If the condition is ignored and continue for a prolonged duration, it could result in complete loss of sight.

Diabetes can affect the normal functioning of the body. It can interfere with the body's ability to store and utilize sugar. This can lead to several health issues. Elevate blood sugar levels for prolonged periods of time could result in damage to tissues throughout the body including the eyes. If this continues, uncontrolled glucose levels can affect the circulatory system of the retina.

Retinopathy is caused by damge to the tiny blood vessels that supply blood to the retina. The damaged blood vessels may leak blood and other fluids that can cause the retinal tissue to swell and disrupt normal vision. Both the eyes get equally affected by increased blood sugar levels.The longer a person has elevated levels of glucose in their blood, the more will the progression of eye damage take place. If this continues further without any treatment, diabetic retinopathy may lead to blindness.

Most commonly seen symptoms of diabetic retinopathy:

1. Hazy Vision

2. Decreased eye visibility at night

3. Seeing spot within the field of vision

4. Dark or empty spot in the center of vision

If a person has prolonged spike in blood glucose levels over a long period of time, it could lead to accumulation of fluid in the lens of the eye. This is the very region that controls the eye's focus. This can lead to a change in the curve of the lens and cause the development of blurred vision. The blurring of vision resulting from swelling will gradually decrease when the blood glucose levels are brough under control. Complete control over the levels of sugar in a person's blood can slow the onset and delay the progression of diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy does not show any symptoms in its early stages. Hence, it is very important that people suffering from diabetes should undergo a detailed examination at least once a year. Early diagnosis and treatment of the eye can make treatment easier and prevent loss of vision.

Mostly, no visual symptoms are observed in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. That is precisely why doctors recommend that everyone with diabetes have a comprehensive, detailed eye examination atleast once every year. The early detection and subsequent treatment can easily restrict the potential for significant loss of vision from diabetic retinopathy.

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