Our team of retinal services is trained from the prestigious AIIMS provide a complete solutions for all retinal conditions. We are equipped with the latest technology including OCT, FFA, Retinal laser, vitrectomy etc.
Our retina doctors treat conditions including
Age related macular degeneration
Retinal vessel blockage (vascular occlusions)
Retinal detachment (surgery)
ROP screening and laser
What is Diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy is a long term complication of diabetes that affects the eyes. It's caused by damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina).
At first, diabetic retinopathy may cause no symptoms or only mild vision problems. Eventually, it can cause blindness. The condition can develop in anyone who has type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The longer you have diabetes and the less controlled your blood sugar is, the more likely you are to develop this eye condition.
Over time, too much sugar in your blood can lead to the blockage of the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina, cutting off its blood supply. As a result, the eye attempts to grow new blood vessels to supply nutrients. But these new blood vessels are weak and can leak or rupture easily.
There are two types of diabetic retinopathy:
- Early diabetic retinopathy
- Advanced diabetic retinopathy
One might not have any symptoms in the early stages. As the condition progresses, symptoms include:
- Spots or dark strings floating in your vision (floaters)
- Blurred or distorted vision
- Fluctuating vision
- Impaired color vision
- Dark or empty areas in your vision
- Vision loss
Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes, but one can be affected more than the other.
Diabetic retinopathy is best diagnosed with a dilated retinal exam. For this, drops placed in your eyes dilate your pupils to allow your doctor to better view inside your eyes. The drops may cause your vision to blur until they wear off, several hours later.
During the exam, your eye doctor will look for:
- Abnormal blood vessels
- Swelling, blood or fatty deposits in the retina
- Growth of new blood vessels and scar tissue
- Bleeding in the clear, jelly-like substance that fills the center of the eye (vitreous)
- Retinal detachment
- Abnormalities in your optic nerve
- In addition, your eye doctor will test your vision, measure your eye pressure to test for glaucoma and look for evidence of cataracts
Equipment used for diagnosis and staging include:
- Fluorescein angiography (of the eye)
- Optical coherence tomography
Treatment depends largely on the type of diabetic retinopathy you have and how severe it is.
Early diabetic retinopathy: If you have mild or moderate (early) diabetic retinopathy, you may not need treatment right away. However, your eye doctor will closely monitor your eyes to determine when you might need treatment. Tight control of blood sugars over a prolonged period goes a long way in slowing down progression. Typically the effect of sugar control over the last two years determines the presence and severity of the condition.
Advanced diabetic retinopathy: If you have proliferative diabetic retinopathy you will need prompt laser or surgical treatment. Depending on the specific problems with your retina, options may include:
- Focal laser treatment
- Scatter laser treatment also called Pan Retinal Photocoagulation (PRP)
- Injections of drugs in/around the eye
- Vitrectomy (surgery)
What are the risks factors for it?
Anyone who has diabetes can develop diabetic retinopathy. Risk increase as a result of:
- Duration of diabetes
- Poor control of your blood sugar level
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure (accelerates diabetic retinopathy progression drastically)
- High cholesterol
- Tobacco use
- Regular checkup of your retina.
Pearls to manage diabetic retinopathy
- Early diabetic retinopathy is easily treatable with preservation of good vision throughout your life. In Advanced diabetic retinopathy, on the other hand, we may not be able restore complete vision despite the best treatment as part of the retina will have deteriorated past the stage of recovery. The treatment will prevent further loss in vision and recovery of the part of the retina which can recover. It is thus imperative that every diabetic have an eye check-up done every 6 months to catch the condition in an early stage. There may even be no symptoms at this stage.
- You may be advised some injections in your eye which may need to be given monthly initially. This is a relatively painless procedure. Do not try to avoid these injections as these are very effective in reducing the swelling of the retina and proliferation of abnormal blood vessels, preventing permanent vision loss.
- If you do have diabetic retinopathy, tight sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol control for upto two years along with proper treatment will stabilize the condition. Don’t expect a few weeks of sugar control to reverse the condition which took years to slowly develop.
Retinal laser for diabetic retinopathy:
Advanced diabetic retinopathy with blood in the vitreous
Advanced diabetic retinopathy with detachment if the retina
OCT scan of a normal macula
OCT scan of macula in a patient with diabetic macular edema (retinal swelling at the macula)
Our team of retinal services is trained from the prestigious AIIMS provide a complete solutions for all retinal conditions. We are equipped with the latest technology including OCT, FFA, Retinal laser, vitrectomy etc....