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    Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

What is diabetic retinopathy:

Diabetic retinopathy is caused by high blood sugar levels which give damage to the retina in our eye (back of our eye). Diabetic retinopathy can be really dangerous and cause blindness if it is not treated correctly or left undiagnosed, although it is important to note that it can take up to a few years for the condition to come to a stage where it can be threatening to your eyesight. Those who suffer from diabetes should ensure that their cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels are controlled and take extra care to keep an eye out for them in order to minimise the risk of diabetic retinopathy. It is also important to attend annual eye check-ups to keep a track of the process of developing diabetic retinopathy. The damage that is caused by diabetic retinopathy is usually permanent, diabetic retinopathy isn't fully treatable, unfortunately, this is why it is important to attend regular checks to keep a track of your eye condition for those who suffer from diabetes.

What does diabetic retinopathy look like?

Unfortunately, diabetic retinopathy is not something that we can see with the naked human eye, we can not see what it looks like. Only under the examination of a doctor will you be able to identify diabetic retinopathy.

What does diabetic retinopathy look like?

It is important to understand the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy, especially for those who suffer from diabetes. As mentioned above, it is not possible to notice the development of diabetic retinopathy, which is why it is important to go for regular eye checkups. The earliest clinical sign of diabetic retinopathy which doctors look out for is microaneurysms. This is the appearance of small red dots which has yellow rings around them within the retinal layers which is caused by vascular leakage. Although this is a symptom that can only be diagnoed by a doctor, there are many symptoms which you can look out for yourself listed below:

  1. Blurred vision
  2. Transition in vision from blurry to clear
  3. Eye floaters
  4. Empty or dark spots in the vision field
  5. Bad night vision
  6. Colour vision fading, colours appearing dull or washed out
  7. Loss of vision

What causes diabetic retinopathy?

Essentially the cause of diabetic retinopathy is the lead-up of blockage in the blood vessels which nourish the retina caused by too much sugar in your blood. Because the blood vessels become blocked, the eye tries to create new blood vessels, however, it fails to develop successfully and causes leakage, thus leading to diabetic retinopathy

How does diabetic retinopathy affect vision?

The blood vessels within our retina which are associated with diabetic retinopathy trigger the development of scar tissue, this pulls the retina away from the back of the eye, which leads to spots floating in the vision, loss of vision, or flashes of light.