Diabetes is every person’s nightmare. For it doesn’t come alone. Diabetic people need to be careful about a lot of accompanying conditions. Diabetic people need to be concerned about a few eye problems in particular- diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, cataract, and glaucoma. Let’s see what these are.
Diabetic retinopathy is a problem wherein the retinal blood vessels leak fluid or bleed. Chronically high blood sugar from diabetes is associated with damage to the tiny blood vessels in the retina, leading to diabetic retinopathy. The retina detects light and converts it to signals sent through the optic nerve to the brain. Diabetic retinopathy can cause blood vessels in the retina to leak fluid or hemorrhage (bleed), distorting vision. In its most advanced stage, new abnormal blood vessels proliferate (increase in number) on the surface of the retina, which can lead to scarring and cell loss in the retina.In the advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy, the number of abnormal blood vessels or those leaking/ bleeding may increase, on the surface of the retina. This leads to scarring and cell loss in the retina. This disease is the most common cause of loss of vision among diabetic people.
Diabetic retinopathy usually gives no symptoms during the initial stages. Therefore it is advisable for diabetic people to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year so that it can be stopped at the earliest stage possible. Controlling diabetes can slow the onset and worsen of diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic Macular Edema happens when diabetic retinopathy causes swelling in the macula area of the retina. It is the buildup of fluid (edema) in the macula. The macula is important for the sharp, straight-ahead vision that is used for reading, recognizing faces, and driving. About half of the people with diabetic retinopathy are likely to develop diabetic macular edema. Although in most of the cases it happens with worsening diabetic retinopathy, it is possible for diabetic macular edema to develop during any stage of the former problem.
Tractional Retinal Detachment: This refers to advanced diabetic eye disease when the gel-like substance in front of the retina called the vitreous body becomes more fibrous like and pulls on the retina leading to its detachment. Such issues can be corrected only through Surgical procedures such as MIVS (Micro Incision Vitrectomy Surgery). The latest 25G and 27G (thinnest) vitrectomy procedures ensure faster healing time which is so crucial for a diabetic individual. At RK Eye Centre our Alcon, Constellation system the US, top of the line system, provides the ideal platform for performing difficult vitrectomy procedures.
Diabetic retinopathy and Diabetic Macular Edema are detected during a comprehensive dilated eye exam that includes:
Visual acuity testing: This eye chart test measures a person’s ability to see at various distances.
Tonometry: This test measures pressure inside the eye.
Pupil dilation: Drops placed on the eye’s surface dilate (widen) the pupil, allowing a physician to examine the retina and optic nerve.
Optical coherence tomography (OCT): This technique is similar to ultrasound but uses light waves instead of sound waves to capture images of tissues inside the body. OCT provides detailed images of tissues that can be penetrated by light, such as the eye.
A comprehensive dilated eye exam allows the doctor to check the retina for:
- Changes to blood vessels
- Leaking blood vessels or warning signs of leaky blood vessels, such as fatty deposits
- Swelling of the macula (DME)
- Changes in the lens
Cataract is the clouding of the eye’s lens by debris. This leads to unclear vision and improper focus. Adults with diabetes are more likely to develop cataract than non-diabetic adults. But cataract is not necessarily limited to adults. Cataract may even develop in young people with diabetes.
Glaucoma is an eye problem that attacks the optic nerve. Some types of glaucoma may be caused by elevated blood pressure, but diabetes doubles the risk of glaucoma. Gaining awareness of the possible problems is the first step towards preventing them. Never miss your annual check-up, especially if you are diabetic. Semi-annual check-ups are recommended for patients with the moderate disease process. A check-up every 3 months is warranted for those with severe disease. Keep your blood sugar levels under control. Get yourself a comprehensive eye exam at RK Eye Centre– one of the best Eye Hospitals in Chennai. Our highly qualified and experienced doctors and trained staff will make sure you get the best quality of service possible. Once you come to RK Eye Centre, you no longer have the burden of worrying about your eye health. Leave it to us to give you the best treatment.