What is diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetes affects the blood vessels throughout the body, particularly in the kidney and in the eye. Diabetic retinopathy is the name we give to diabetes’ adverse affects on the blood vessels in the eye. In the United States, diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among adults. The risk of developing diabetic retinopathy increases over time. An adult who has had diabetes for 15 years or longer stands an 80 percent chance of experiencing damage to retinal blood vessels.
Regular eye exams are important for everyone, but especially for people with diabetes. An exam helps your doctor identify possible damage early, before it becomes more difficult to treat.
What causes diabetic retinopathy?
The retina, the multiple layers of tissue located at the back of the eye, detects visual stimuli and transmits signals to the brain. When diabetes affects the ocular blood vessels, leaks may develop and contribute to the formation of scar tissue, which reduce the retina’s ability to detect and transmit images.
What are the types of diabetic retinopathy?
There are two main types of diabetic retinopathy: background (BDR) and proliferative (PDR).
What is the treatment for diabetic retinopathy?
When diabetes results in new blood vessels in the retina that leak blood, a laser procedure may be used to painlessly destroy the new growth and seal the blood vessels, preventing them from leaking again and helping to restore lost vision.