Diabetic retinopathy is a vascular disease that occurs due to the very high sugar level in the body. It is one of the complications of diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the glucose level of the body goes too high. It occurs when the body fails to make enough insulin or insulin is produced but body is unable to utilize it properly. Diabetes are of two types, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the high glucose level in the body leads to the damage to the tiny blood vessels in the retina. The retina is the innermost and the light sensitive area of the eyes and it plays an important role in the vision. It can lead to vision impairment and blindness and in fact, in the United States, it is the leading cause of blindness. Retina detects the light and signals the brain through the optic nerve. The high sugar level in the blood causes the blood vessels in the retina to leak fluid and leads to the distortion of vision. If this disease is left untreated then it progresses and can cause complete damage to the retina.
The development of diabetic retinopathy depends on the duration of diabetes, it can go unnoticed for years in people suffering from type 2 diabetes. Whereas people suffering from type 1 diabetes are more likely to diagnose the symptoms of this disease at an early age and can avoid the development of retinopathy for many years. The risk of suffering from this disease increases after puberty and according to the studies, after 20 years of having diabetes, almost everyone having type 1 diabetes and 80% of type 2 diabetes develops diabetic retinopathy.
Stages of Diabetic Retinopathy
1. Mild nonproliferative retinopathy – It is the initial stage of diabetic retinopathy and at this stage, microaneurysms occurs that can leak the fluid in the retina. Microaneurysms are the swelling in the retina’s tiny blood vessels.
2. Moderate nonproliferative retinopathy – In the second stage of diabetic retinopathy, a person experiences a swelled and distorts blood vessels that nourish the retina.It, therefore, leads to an inability to blood transport. They act as a contributor to the development of diabetic macular edema.
3. Severe nonproliferative retinopathy – It is a serious stage in which the blood vessels are blocked and leads to the lack of blood supply to the areas of the retina. Also, at this stage factors signals the retina to grow new blood vessels.
4. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy – It is the advanced and the most serious stage of diabetic retinopathy and at this stage, factors that are secreted by retina triggers the proliferation of new blood vessels. It grows inside the retina and fluid fills the eyes.
Diabetic Macular Edema
Diabetic retinopathy is highly associated with the development of diabetic macular edema. When diabetic retinopathy causes swelling in the area of the retina called macula, it is known as diabetic macular edema. It is the largest cause of visual loss in the people suffering from diabetes. The macula is an important part of the retina for the sharp vision and it is mainly used for reading and recognizing.
Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy
At an early stage there are no visible symptoms but as the disease progresses, you are likely to experience symptoms such as
- Impaired color vision
- Vision loss
- Blurred vision
- Fluctuating visions
- The appearance of floating spots
There are many medicines and treatments available to treat the condition of diabetic retinopathy. Sometimes doctor suggests surgery to treat diabetic retinopathy. But there are some natural ways through which you can improve the symptoms of this disease. Some of the ways include
- Control the blood sugar level in the body can help you prevent vision loss.
- Maintain the nutritional diet
- Do regular physical activity
- Control your blood pressure
Controlling the symptoms of diabetes can help you improve the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy as well. The high sugar level in the body is the major cause of the development of diabetic retinopathy.
Share this post with your family and friends and create awareness. A large number of people are suffering from diabetes and studies believes that almost everyone having diabetes will lead to the development of diabetic retinopathy. It is important to know about all the complications of diabetes and other health diseases that can help you in delaying the development of retinopathy. Take some preventive measures and reduce the risk of future complications. Stay Safe, Stay Healthy!!
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