Diabetes can cause blindness, don't neglect your eyes
Diabetes Mellitus is a disease in which the body does not use and store sugar properly. High blood sugar levels affect the small blood vessels of all the organs of the body, especially the eyes, heart, kidney and nerves. India is known as the Diabetic capital of the world with a rapidly increasing number of people suffering from Diabetes. Presently, there are more than 77 million diabetics in India, almost 12% of urban population. Diabetic Eye Disease is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world.
Diabetes can affect your eyes in many ways, most prominent being Diabetic retinopathy. Prolonged and uncontrolled diabetes inevitably damages the microvasculature (small blood vessels) of the Retina, which is the sensitive layer at the back of the eye that senses light and sends signals to the brain. This damage to the Retina is called Diabetic Retinopathy. The blood vessels become leaky and can lead to swelling in the retina called Diabetic Macular edema. Diabetics are also at risk for developing early Cataract, Glaucoma, stye, orbital cellulitis and Nerve paralysis. If not detected and treated on time, diabetes can cause irreversible damage to your vision even resulting in blindness. Hence, it is extremely important to keep your diabetes under control and get a complete eye examination at least once a year.
Depending on the stage of Diabetic Retinopathy, different treatment modalities are advised. However, no treatment can be successful unless there is control of blood sugar, BP and cholesterol.
This is recommended for patients who have Macular Edema, PDR or Neovascular Glaucoma.Focal Laser helps to close the leaky blood vessels and prevent further bleeding. Panretinal photocoagulation is done for Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy(PDR) in the periphery of the retina to destroy the diseased parts to stop release of Vascular Endothelial Growth factor (VEGF) that promotes growth of new blood vessels. It causes the abnormal vessels to shrink. Multiple laser treatments are sometimes necessary. Laser does not cure PDR, it helps to avoid further visual loss.
These are given inside the eye to reduce the growth of abnormal new vessels and fluid leaks. Steroid Injections like Ozurdex or Triamcinolone or Anti VEGF injections like Aflibercept, bevacizumab, Ranibizumab.Your Retina specialist will advise which is best suited for your eyes. Repeated injections are usually required.
In advanced cases with non resolving Vitreous Haemorrhage or Retinal detachment surgery maybe the only answer. Today with advanced technology and highly skilled Retina specialists at Vision Plus eye Centre we are able to deliver excellent results even in complicated cases.
There may be no symptoms at an early stage, and by the time the patient has symptoms, damage has already occurred. Hence, it is critical to have regular eye check ups.A few common symptoms include
A yearly retina examination by your eye specialist can detect retinopathy at an early stage.Early detection and treatment can prevent serious visual loss. After checking your vision, eye pressure and examining the front part of your eye, your pupils will be dilated for a fundus examination. Your doctor will do a 90D Biomicroscopy and Indirect Ophthalmoscopy to see your retina for any haemorrhages, exudates, edema and new blood vessels. You may be advised special tests like Fundus Photograph, OCT Angio or Fundus Fluorescein Angiography. Your doctor may advise self testing at home by Amsler Grid.
A healthy lifestyle can alter the course of Diabetic Eye Disease, along with with a regular follow up with your Endocrinologist and Nephrologist