Yo! My name is Andy and this is my eye care blog. Your eyes are so important but it can be easy to take them for granted. I know that I didn't think twice about my eyes until I started to have problems with my vision. I kept getting headaches and I had trouble focusing on things. I went to see my doctor who referred me to an optometrist. The eye specialist did some tests and asked me some questions. He then said that my regular use of screens was straining my eyes. Since following the advice given to me, my eyes have been much healthier.
Diabetic retinopathy is the most serious eye condition associated with diabetes, and it occurs when the blood vessels in the retina become blocked. They start to leak due to the pressure, which can lead to loss of vision if not properly treated. The condition can only be diagnosed by a qualified eye doctor, and despite being one of the leading causes of blindness in adults, it often goes unnoticed, especially by those who do not know they are diabetic. This short guide aims to explain diabetic retinopathy in detail, including the symptoms, the diagnosis and how the condition can be treated and prevented.
Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy
While the initial symptoms of diabetic retinopathy are subtle, some people do notice them and seek medical advice. The NHS lays out the most common symptoms, such as shapes floating in your field of vision, red eyes and blurred vision. If you experience any of these symptoms, especially in conjunction with worsening vision, you should see an eye doctor as soon as possible.
Diagnosing Diabetic Retinopathy
The only way that diabetic retinopathy is generally diagnosed is through a comprehensive eye exam. This is because, as Your Sight Matters explains, the early stages of the condition have no symptoms, and even the later symptoms can be subtle and slow to develop. The National Eye Institute explains the diagnostic tests in more detail, from visual acuity testing to a pupil dilation test. These tests can only be carried out by an eye doctor, so it is essential that you have a full eye test every year if you have diabetes, and on a regular basis if you don't.
Preventing Diabetic Retinopathy
The best and simplest way to prevent diabetic retinopathy is to manage your diabetes well. As RNIB describes, you can prevent the condition from arising or progressing by controlling your blood sugar level and getting regular eye tests. As they explain, you should also take care of your overall health to make sure your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are optimal.
Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy
Treatment for the condition depends entirely on how advanced your diabetic retinopathy is. If your vision is not at risk, then the condition can be managed through making sure your blood sugar levels remain consistent, as well as leading a healthy lifestyle. If the condition is more advanced, then there are other treatments that your doctor may recommend. Laser treatment and eye injections may help retain your sight and prevent the condition from getting worse, and for some patients, surgery to remove blood from the eye may be recommended.
While diabetic retinopathy is a serious condition, it is generally a manageable one if diagnosed early. Taking care of your diabetes goes a long way to preventing and halting the illness, and early diagnosis reduces your chances of sight loss. If you have diabetes, it is essential to see an eye doctor at least once a year to check for signs of diabetic retinopathy.Share
21 February 2018