The following Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment questions are asked by real people like you. The answers are provided by board-certified doctors or qualified medical providers who meet our exacting standards.
The main preventive measures for avoiding or delaying the onset of diabetic retinopathy in patients with diabetes are to maintain strict control over their blood glucose level, blood pressure and cholesterol level, and to quit smoking. Pregnant women with diabetes must receive regular eye examinations during the pregnancy and for 1 year after giving birth.
Measurement of your glycosylated haemoglobin level indicates your blood sugar level over the last few weeks and it is known that a high value has a direct influence on microvascular complications such as diabetic retinopathy. Generally, it should not exceed 7%, although the target value must be individualised and established by your doctor.
Yes. Many patients who have had type 1 diabetes for over 20 years can develop diabetic retinopathy despite maintaining good control over their blood sugar levels. Other factors associated with the disease, such as inflammation and direct changes to the blood vessels, are also believed to cause retinopathy.
Yes, because the diabetes-induced damage to the retina develops several years after the onset of the disease. Therefore, a severe complication such as macular oedema could coincide with a period when your diabetes is very well-controlled.
Yes. Classifying diabetic retinopathy as mild refers to the fact that it only affects small blood vessels. However, if these are located in the centre of the retina, the fluids they leak could cause diabetic macular oedema and vision loss.
The signs and symptoms of diabetic retinopathy may initially develop in just one eye. However, in general, both eyes are usually compromised, although not necessarily to the same degree.
When people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, they have often been living with diabetic changes for years, but without realising it. Therefore, they may already have diabetic retinopathy because their eyes have been suffering the secondary effects of diabetes for years.
Most patients with diabetes do not experience any loss of visual acuity until the final stages of the condition. As such, good eyesight does not necessarily correspond to the absence of retinopathy. In advanced stages of diabetic retinopathy, any vision loss could be irreversible and therefore you should never wait until you reach this point before visiting a specialist.
Vision fluctuations, blurred vision, poor night vision, and seeing spots or floaters are all symptoms of diabetic retinopathy. You should see an ophthalmologist immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
If you have diabetes, we recommend getting a dilated eye exam at least once a year to look for signs of diabetic retinopathy or other vision problems, even if you aren’t currently experiencing any symptoms. If you are diabetic and are considering getting pregnant, you should get an eye exam as well before pregnancy.
The longer you have had diabetes, the greater the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Patients who have difficulty controlling their blood sugar levels are at high risk for vision problems. Those with high blood pressure or high cholesterol also have a higher risk. Smoking increases the risk of diabetic retinopathy.
The dysfunction of blood vessels in the eyes can lead to haemorrhage in the vitreous fluid, retinal detachment, glaucoma, and blindness.
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