Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a high risk for diabetic patients and must be treated by an ophthalmologist.

Eye care for diabetes

Untreated diabetic retinopathy can lead to blindness. Therefore, diabetic retinopathy is a high risk for diabetic patients. Regular examination by an ophthalmologist is strongly recommended for all diabetic patients. Diabetic retinopathy can be diagnosed and observed very accurately by viewing the retina with appropriate equipment and also with fundus photography. Using modern laser technology, the specialized ophthalmologist can treat the retina and stop or regulate the vascular changes in most cases.

Treatment options for myopia

Diabetes as a retinal risk

Diabetic eye disease often shows no symptoms for a long time, although the disease progresses anyway. Diabetes can cause damage to your retina in the eye. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can cause damage to the small (capillary) vessels that supply blood to the retina.

There is an increased risk of retinal damage in:

  • a strongly elevated long-term blood glucose value
  • longer diabetes disease duration
  • High blood pressure

Diabetic retinopathy can have dire consequences. For example, hemorrhages can develop inside the eye, which are fed by the newly formed vessels. Furthermore, membranes may form that gradually lift the retina from its substrate.

Causes of diabetic retinopathy

  • Long-term high blood glucose levels damage the tiny blood vessels in the retina (microangiopathy).
  • Hemorrhages in the retina due to fragile vessels
  • Fats and proteins from the blood settle inside the eye.

Prevention through regular retinal control

Diabetes-related changes in the retina and retinal vessels, especially peripheral vascular damage, can remain "invisible" to affected people for a long time. However, the earlier diabetic retinopathy or diabetic macular edema is detected, the sooner vision can be stabilized.

With regular ophthalmologic checkups, the retina can be monitored continuously.

Laser therapy

If there is an eye disease caused by diabetes, laser treatment can help. Laser treatment is usually performed on an outpatient basis.

Laser therapy is performed under local anesthesia and is largely painless. The laser is used to burn (coagulate) altered areas of the retina. Several sessions over a period of four to six weeks may be necessary.

Treatment of diabetic retinal disease aims to curb the loss of visual acuity.

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