Diabetic retinopathy is a type of micro vascular disease in which the micro vessel, supplying blood to the retina of our eye is affected. Retinopathy is related to high blood sugar level and obstructs the flow of oxygen to the cells of the retina. Retina is an ultra thin layer of blood vessel made up of rods and cones. As soon as the retina receives signals of light, it is sent to the brain and a three dimensional figure is formed and identified, this is sent back to the eye by which we can recognize the things around us. The high blood glucose level hinders its working and leaves obstacles in passing light through the retina, thus, leading to improper vision.
The early stage of this disease is called non proliferate diabetic retinopathy. The blurred and distorted vision is because of macular edema. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is the advanced form of diabetic retinopathy; the new blood vessels break, as they are weak and leak blood into vitreous of the eye, which will lead to floating spots in the eye. The pace of damage is not similar in both the eyes but, both the eyes are affected by this disease. Some times one eye is affected more easily than the other. After some period, the swollen and scar nerve tissue of the retina is totally destroyed and pulls up the entire layer of retina and detaches it from the back of the eye. Retinal detachment is the cause behind blindness among diabetics in middle age. The other two types of eye problems usually seen earlier in the people suffering from diabetes are:
- Cataract :- A thin cloudy layer appears in front of your eye leading to unclear vision. In cataract surgery this thin layer is removed and setting of a plastic layer in front of the lens is done, thus gives you a clear vision again.
- Glaucoma :- Due to high pressure on the optic nerve, it gets damaged. The damaged optic nerve creates disturbance in clear vision. Laser surgery or simple eye drops may help in regaining the normal vision.
A diabetic must go for the regular eye checkup so that the early stages of diabetic retinopathy can be detected and treated in initial stages itself, with less harm to the eyes. Blood sugar levels should also be monitored and maintained to prevent blood vessel damage.