Diabetic Retinopathy Information You Need To Know
is the most common and most serious eye complication of diabetes.
Diabetes affects you body from head to toe. That includes your eyes.
Retinopathy is the medical term for damage to the many capillaries (tiny blood vessels that nourish The Retina.
These blood vessels are often affected by the high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes.
The longer you have diabetes, the more likely it is you’ll develop retinopathy.
After having type 1 diabetes (formerly call juvenile or insulin-dependent diabetes) for 20 years, almost everyone with this condition has some degree of retinopathy.
After the same number of years, more than 60 percent of people with type 2 diabetes (formerly called adult-onset or noninsulin-dependent dibetes) have some degree of retinophathy.
Initially, most people with retinopathy experience only mild Vision Problems. But the condition can worsen and threaten your vision. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of legal blindness among adults in the United States.
The threat of blindness is scary. But there’s more cause for hope than for alarm.
With early detection and treatment, the risk of severe Loss of Vision from retinopathy is less than 5 percent. And you can take steps to Protect Your Eyesight if you have diabetes.
Start with a yearly eye examination. Work to keep you blood sugar and blood pressure under the best possible control.
Free Government Document about Diabetic Retinopathy and what you should know. Please check it out.
There are two types of retinopathy, Usually both eyes are affected, although the disease may be more advance in one eye than the other.
Nonproliferative Diabetic Retinopathy
(NPDR), also called background retinopathy, is an early stage of the disease. It’s the most common type of retinopathy, and symptoms are often mild.
In NPDR the walls of blood vessels in the retina weaken. The bulges called microaneurysms (my-kroe-an-yuh-riz-umz) protrude from the vessel walls.
Another term for this is out pouching. The microaneurysms may begin to leak, other signs of damage appear.
These include patches of swollen nerve fibers, which are called cotton wool spots because they look like fluffy wisps of cotton.
Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy
(PDR) is the more advanced form of this disease. About half the people with very severe NPDR progress to PDR within 1 year.
Retinopathy becomes Proliferative when abnormal new blood vessels grow (proliferate) on the retina or the optic nerve. The blood vessels also grow into the vitreous, the clear, jellylike substance that fills the center of the eye.
Signs and Symptoms
In the early, most treatable stages of retinopathy, you usually experience no visual symptoms or pain. The disease can even progress to an advanced stage without any noticeable change in your vision.
Symptoms can include:
- Spiders, cobwebs or tiny specs floating in your vision
- Dark streaks or a red film that blocks vision
- Vision loss, usually in both eyes, but more so in one eye than the other
- Blurred Vision that may fluctuate
- A dark or empty spot in the center of your vision
- Poor Night Vision
- Difficulty adjusting from bright light to dim light
If you have diabetes, your body doesn’t produce or use sugar (glucose) properly.
Sugar in the blood is vital to your health because it’s the main source of energy for your body’s cells. But too much sugar in the blood can cause a host of problems.
For one thing it damages the capillaries that supply nutrients to organs and tissues such as the brain, the nerves, the kidneys and the eyes.
Retinopathy Information to Eye Diseases