What is Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy is a complication of uncontrolled blood sugar levels. The duration of diabetes Mellitus plays a significant role in diabetic retinopathy. It mainly affects the small blood vessels which supply the retina leading to either their blockage or leakage of exudates. This leads to a decrease in vision or blurred vision. In later stages when the blood vessels of the retina get blocked due to high blood sugar levels, new vessels start to grow but they don’t function like normal vessels and nerve vitreous haemorrhage and proliferative diabetic retinopathy can occur.

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Diabetes Mellitus in young(<40 yr)is usually insulin resistance and have very high blood sugar level.Such patient have very high chances of developing diabetic retinopathy.However,patient older than 40 year need annual retina check-up.Diabetic Retinopathy usually does not occur in patients with good control of blood sugar.Howerver,in patients with very high blood sugar levels,even a single episode  can cause significant damage which may not stabilize even after subsequently well controlled blood sugar level.

Diabetic Retinopathy can be prevented by keeping strict control of blood sugar.The target levels for fasting blood sugar-<125,Postparandial blood sugar-<140,HbA1c-<6.

Diabetic Retinopathy Symptoms

Most patients are symptomless.only in later stages they experience either diminution of vision/red vision/loss of vision.

Diabetic Retinopathy Treatments

Primary Treatment is strict-control of blood sugar/blood pressure,blood cholesterol levels.

Various modalities of treatment (Laser photocen/intravitrealinjection/retina surgery)exist depending on the stage of diabetic retinopathy.out of them,laser photocoagulation is one of the safest and cheaper method of treatment.The cost of one sitting of laser photocoagulation in both eyes is assured 5000-10000

The other modality of treatment are:

1)Intravitreal Anti-VEGF injection

2)Intravireal steroids injection:for chronic cases having leakage and responding to multiple anti –VEGF injection

3)Vitreo-retinal surgery for advance cases like retinal detachment or vitreous haemorrhage.

*By laser photocoagulation the dead/dyingretinais destroyed which stops the formation of new vessels and stabilizes the metabolism of retina.However strict blood control is mandatory to maintain the status.

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