Family Eye Care Center
596 Anderson Avenue Suite 101Cliffside Park, NJ 07010Telephone 201-943-0022
Diabetes is a disease that affects blood vessels throughout the body, particularly vessels in the kidneys and eyes. When the blood vessels in
the eyes are affected,this is called diabetic retinopathy. The retina is in the back of the eye. It detects visual images and transmits them to
the brain. Major blood vessels lie on the front portion of the retina. When these blood vessels are damaged due to diabetes, they may leaks
fluid or blood and grow scar tissue. This leakage affects the ability of the retina to detect and transmit images.
During the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, reading vision is typically not affected. However, when retinopathy becomes advanced, new
blood vessels grow in the retina. These new vessels are the body's attempt to overcome and replace the vessels that have been damaged
However, these new vessels are not normal. They may bleed and cause the vision to become hazy, occasionally resulting in a complete loss
vision. The growth of abnormal blood vessels on the iris of the eye can lead to glaucoma. Diabetic retinopathy can also cause your bod
to form cataracts..The new vessels also may damage the retina by forming scar tissue and pulling the retina away from its proper location.
This is called retina detachment and can lead to blindness if left untreated.
Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy: (There are usually no symptoms in the early stages). However as the disease progresses (a) Floaters
(b Difficulty reading or doing close work (c) Double vision (d) If left untreated, severe vision loss can occur.
Causes of diabetic retinopathy:
Diabetes: Everyone who has diabetes is at risk for developing diabetic retinopathy, but not everyone develops it. Changes in blood sugar
levels increase the risks. Generally,diabetics don't develop diabetic retinopathy until they've had diabetes for a least ten years. You can
reduce ]your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy by:(a) keeping your blood sugar under control. (B) monitoring your blood pressure.
(C) maintaining a healthy diet. (D) Regular exercise. (E) annual exam eye exam
Diagnosing diabetic retinopathy:
There are usually no symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. Vision may not change until the disease becomes severe. An exam is
often the only way to diagnose changes in the vessels of your eyes. This is why regular examinations for people with diabetes are extremely
important. You eye doctor may perform a test called fluorescein angiography. During the test, a harmless orange-red dye called Fluorescent
will be injected into a vein in your arm. The dye will travel through your body to the blood vessels in your retina. Your doctor will use a special
camera with a green filter to flash a blue light into your eye and take multiple photographs. The pictures will b analyzed to identify any damage
to the lining of the retina or atypical new blood vessels.
Treatment for diabetic retinopathy:
Diabetic retinopathy does not usually impair sight until the development of long-term complications, including proliferative retinopathy (when
abnormal new blood vessels bleed into the eye). When this advanced stage of retinopathy occurs, pan-retinal coagulation is performed. During
this procedure, a laser is used to destroy all of the dead areas of retina where blood vessels have been closed. When these areas are treated
with the laser, the retina stops manufacturing new blood vessels, and those that are already present tend to decrease or disappear. If diabetic
retinopathy has caused your body to form cataracts, they can be corrected with cataract surgery.
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