Diabetic retinopathy is a common eye disease in diabetics. Those who suffer from diabetes are also at high risk for other eye diseases like glaucoma and cataracts. All of these can cause severe vision loss to blindness.
Disease process of diabetic retinopathy occurs as a result the changes that occur in blood vessels of the retina, a thin membrane formed from nerve cells that line the back two thirds of the eyeball. Nerve cells in the retina to receive light and send signals to the brain about what is seen by the eye.
Diabetic retinopathy consists of two stages, namely:
Retinopathy nonproliferatif. An early stage of this disease process. During diabetes, this condition causes the walls of small blood vessels in the eye weakens. Small protrusions arise in the blood vessels (microaneurysms), which can be broken so that fluid and protein leak into the retina. Decreased blood flow to the retina causes the formation of shaped patches of cotton wool gray or white. Deposition of fat white yellow protein (hard exudates) are also formed on the retina. These changes may not affect vision unless fluid and protein from damaged blood vessels cause swelling in the central retina (macula). This condition is called macular edema, which can aggravate a persons central vision.
Proliferative retinopathy. Nonproliferatif retinopathy can progress to proliferative retinopathy is more severe stages of the disease diabetic retinopathy. The main form of proliferative retinopathy is the growth (proliferation) of fragile blood vessels on the surface of the retina. These abnormal blood vessels easily rupture, bleeding in the middle of the eyeball so that impede vision. Will also form scar tissue that can pull the retina so that the retina regardless of the place. If left untreated, proliferative retinopathy can permanently damage the retina and the Courant-other portion of the eye causing severe vision loss or blindness.
Diabetic retinopathy usually evolves into several levels in most patients with type 1 diabetes and a number of people with type 2 diabetes. Supervision of tight blood sugar levels can prevent the risk of progression to severe retinopathy and vision loss. In case of retinopathy, the early detection and prompt treatment (most often with lasers) can help prevent, inhibit or change of vision loss.
Those who suffer from diabetes, have eye examinations at an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) every year, even if they do not have any complaints though the eye diseases. American diabetes Association recommends examination once a year (starting in 3 to 5 years after diagnosis of type 1 diabetes and soon after was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes) for the following reasons:
Someone who suffer from diabetic retinopathy unnoticed because the disease does not always cause symptoms until retina damage getting worse.
The treatment would be more effective if done before the symptoms and complications of developing retinopathy.
With regular eye examination, an eye doctor can find and treat the signs of retinopathy before continuing.
Unfortunately, many diabetics who are not eye examinations once a year to find out whether it has had retinopathy (or other eye diseases caused by diabetes). As a result, they do not know that they have suffered from retinopathy until significant vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of new blindness in people aged between 20 and 74 years. Experts believe many cases of vision loss and blindness can be prevented by performing an annual eye examination in diabetics.