Diabetes, a pervasive chronic condition affecting millions worldwide, is renowned for its impact on blood sugar regulation. However, it is imperative to recognize that diabetes can lead to various complications, particularly eye-related diseases. According to a comprehensive all-India study published in The Lancet, nearly 3 million people aged 40 and above in the country are at risk of blindness due to diabetes.
In an interview with Zee News English, Dr Ajay Sharma, MBBS, MS Ophthalmology- Chief Medical Director at Eye Q shares the link between diabetes and ey health and further also talks about the risk factors, stages and treatment of diabetic retinopathy.
World Diabetes Day Significance: “Know Your Risk”
On World Diabetes Day, with this year’s theme “Know your risk” and “know your response,” it is vital to raise awareness about the link between diabetes and eye diseases. Early detection, management, and treatment can significantly preserve vision. Understanding risk factors and the importance of regular eye exams are crucial steps toward preventing unnecessary blindness in individuals living with diabetes.
What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
One of the most concerning eye conditions associated with diabetes is diabetic retinopathy. This condition constitutes a significant proportion of blindness cases in working-age adults. Diabetic retinopathy is triggered by elevated levels of blood sugar, causing damage to the delicate blood vessels in the retina located at the back of the eye. Damaged vessels may swell and leak, resulting in symptoms such as blurry vision or disrupted blood flow.
Abnormal blood vessel growth can exacerbate vision problems, with the noteworthy aspect that diabetic retinopathy typically affects both eyes, compounding the risk of vision loss.
Risk Factors of Diabetic Retinopathy
Individuals diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, or those experiencing gestational diabetes during pregnancy, are susceptible to developing diabetic retinopathy. The duration of diabetes significantly impacts the likelihood of this eye condition. The longer a person has been living with diabetes, the higher the risk. Uncontrolled high blood sugar, elevated blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, and smoking further increase the risk of diabetic retinopathy.
Stages of Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy progresses through two primary stages, each with distinct symptoms and implications. In the early stage, blood vessel walls weaken, forming tiny pouches that can leak blood, leading to macular edema. The advanced stage witnesses the growth of fragile new blood vessels that can bleed into the vitreous, causing dark spots in vision and, in severe cases, complete vision obstruction.
Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy
The positive news is that diabetic retinopathy is treatable. Timely intervention can repair eye damage and prevent blindness in the majority of cases. Treatment modalities include laser therapy, creating a scar tissue barrier, and injections of VEGF inhibitors to slow or reverse progression. In severe cases, vitrectomy may be necessary, addressing issues within the eye’s gel-like substance.
(The following story may or may not have been edited by NEUSCORP.COM and was generated automatically from a Syndicated Feed. NEUSCORP.COM also bears no responsibility or liability for the content.)