The diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in the elderly.
It is a disorder of the blood vessels of the retina that occurs in people with long-standing and poorly controlled diabetes .
The severity of retinopathy is closely correlated with the duration of the disease.
Causes of diabetic retinopathy
It is a complication of diabetes mellitus, especially if it is not well controlled.
If there is also high blood pressure, the risk will be greater.
Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy evolves in three phases in which different symptoms appear. The disorder is progressive, with each phase having a worse prognosis than the previous one:
- First phase: Retinopathy of origin or non-proliferative. It is characterized by the presence of microaneurysms, hemorrhages, and hard exudates. Also in this phase the macula can be damaged. These injuries do not compromise vision except for damage to the macula.
- Second phase: Preproliferative retinopathy. In which cottony exudates appear, abnormalities such as narrowing, dilatation and tortuosity in the blood vessels.
- Third phase: Proliferative retinopathy. Characterized by the formation of new blood vessels in the retina, hemorrhages, and if there are greater complications, retinal detachment can occur.
Throughout the course of the disease, vision difficulties and even total blindness can occur.
How is it diagnosed?
Ideally, the problem will be detected in a routine examination, since diabetes mellitus has to be controlled through periodic check-ups.
The screening to diagnose vision problems secondary to diabetes will include the following tests:
- Examination of visual acuity.
- Measurement of intraocular pressure.
- Fluorescein angiography.
Treatment of diabetic retinopathy
Treatment can be of three types:
It will consist mainly in the control of glycemia (blood glucose) through the administration of oral antidiabetics, insulin … and in the control of blood pressure.
What can be done whether or not there is a reduction in vision. It serves to prevent complications (such as bleeding). The technique is called panretinal photocoagulation and can reduce or eliminate symptoms. The ophthalmologist will be the one to determine whether or not laser treatment is indicated depending on the case.
Operation called vitrectomy to treat complications, it can be very useful in case of bleeding.
How can I avoid it?
The prevention of this problem is achieved through strict control of the diet, and the administration of insulin or oral antidiabetics in the doses prescribed by the doctor.
It is important to lead a healthy lifestyle, that is, avoiding toxic habits such as smoking or alcohol intake, getting enough sleep and doing moderate physical exercise, it can also improve the evolution of diabetes and prevent high blood pressure and other problems cardiovascular diseases that would certainly aggravate the process.
It is recommended to go for a review at least annually, and report any changes or difficulties in vision. Check-ups should be carried out (one a year at least) and if there are changes or alterations in the vision or in the eyes, such as blurred vision, sudden loss of vision and the appearance of black dots or flashing lights in the visual field.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.