The back of the eye is called the retina. One of the most devastating complications of diabetes is diabetic retinopathy. Retinopathy happens when blood vessels start to get leaky – whether it’s blood products or actually fluid leaking into the retina, the retina won’t work right. It can get swollen, it can get traction from fibrovascular tissue forming in the back of the eye. Retinopathy is one of the leading causes of blindness.
Retinopathy can affect your daily life in all sorts of ways. Some patients may have absolutely no symptoms at all if the retinopathy is relatively mild. However, if they have rather extensive retinopathy or they’ve had bleeding in the eye, their vision may be such that they can’t even see the big “E” on an eye chart.
People can make their lives easier with retinopathy if, for one, they get their eyes examined. Having an up to date glasses prescription is really helpful. Treating any other coexisting problems like cataracts can also be really helpful for patients. Ultimately, getting the retinopathy under control will afford patients the best possible prognosis with regards to their vision.
There are many treatments for diabetic retinopathy. Most commonly, medications are given into the eye through an injection. Laser treatment can also be done. For the most advanced cases, real surgery may be necessary.
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