FAQ- about Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of loss of vision in diabetic patients. Vision loss can be restored by timely treatment in some cases, but, in many cases, vision loss can be partially or fully irreversible.

What is diabetic retinopathy?

It is the changes in the retina of diabetic patients

What kind of changes occurs in the retina?

-Blood vessels in the retina become weak and leaky -small bleeds edema (water logging) -Exudates (deposits) -Formation of new blood vessels that are very weak -Bleeding into the cavity of eye retinal detachment

Who develop diabetic retinopathy?

-Any diabetic patient, even if diabetes is well controlled. -Risk increases with duration of diabetes. -Greater risks are in young insulin dependent diabetics, poorly controlled diabetics, pregnant diabetics (gestational diabetes).

What are the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy?

-Can remain asymptomatic even till late stages -Common symptoms are blurring of vision, floaters nad sudden loss of vision. -Advanced diabetic retinopathy can lead to secondary glaucoma causing painful visual loss.

How often should a diabetic patient have eye checkups?

-Once diabetes has been diagnosed yearly checkups is a must -If diabetic changes on the retina starts occurring, checkups should be as per the ophthalmologists advice.

What tests would be performed for a diabetic patient?

-Apart from checking vision and testing glasses, a detailed examination of the retina is performed after dilatation of the pupil. -Fundus fluorescein angiography may be required for some patients in which a dye is injected into the arm vein followed by taking a series of photographs of the retina.

What are the different treatments for diabetic reinopathy?

-First and foremost strict blood sugar control -Lases photocoagulation -Surgery in advanced stage where removal of clotted blood inside the eye or repair of a detached retina becomes necessary

Can laser treatment improve the vision?

-Laser treatment is done to preent further loss and preserve existing vision

Does laser treatment prevent further visual loss

-No, regular follow up examinations as per the opthalmologist’s advise is needed. -Strict blood sugar control even after laser therapy. -Further laser therapy or surgery may be needed at later stages.

Is laser treatment, a complicated procedure?

-No, it is a simple, painless, outpatient procedure. -There are no restrictions after the procedure

What is diabetic’s role in the prevention of diabetic retinopathy?

-Keep diabetes under good control -Have periodic eye checkups -Take prompt treatment as advised by the opthamologist


Diabetic retinopathy clinic -Keeler indirect opthamalmoscopes for detailed retinal evaluation -90 D slit lamp examination for fundus. -Intraocular pressure (IOP) measurement by applanation tonometer to rule out coexisting glaucoma if any

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