Diabetic retinopathy is indeed a complication of diabetes that can potentially lead to vision loss if not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner. It occurs when high blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels in the retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye.
Loading the player...The Risks of Not Treating Diabetic Retinopathy <p><a href="https://diabeticretinopathynow.com/local/local-ophthalmologists">Ophthalmologist</a>, talks about the risks to vision if diabetic retinopathy is not treated and well controlled.</p>
Ophthalmologist, talks about the risks to vision if diabetic retinopathy is not treated and well controlled.
Loading the player...Diabetic Retinopathy Detection and Prevention <p> <a href="https://diabeticretinopathynow.com/local/local-ophthalmologists">Ophthalmologist</a>, discusses diabetic retinopathy and how it is prevented and treated.</p>
Ophthalmologist, discusses diabetic retinopathy and how it is prevented and treated.
Loading the player...What Causes Diabetic Retinopathy and Who Can Get It <p><a href="https://www.healthchoicesfirst.com/practitioner-type/ophthalmologist">Ophthalmologist,</a> talks about the cause of diabetic retinopathy and also who typically gets it.</p>
Ophthalmologist, talks about the cause of diabetic retinopathy and also who typically gets it.
Loading the player...What to Expect Before and After Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy <p><a href="https://www.healthchoicesfirst.com/practitioner-type/ophthalmologist"> Ophthalmologist,</a> talks about what patients can expect from their vision before and after being treated for diabetic retinopathy.</p>
Ophthalmologist, talks about what patients can expect from their vision before and after being treated for diabetic retinopathy.
Loading the player...Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment Options <p><a href="https://www.healthchoicesfirst.com/practitioner-type/ophthalmologist"> Ophthalmologist,</a> discusses how diabetic retinopathy is treated.</p>
Ophthalmologist, discusses how diabetic retinopathy is treated.
The Risks of Not Treating Diabetic Retinopathy
When it comes to treating diabetic retinopathy with injections, the frequency and duration of treatment can vary depending on the individual case. Initially, monthly injections are often recommended to address the condition. However, as the eye responds to treatment and shows improvement, the doctor may adjust the treatment plan and extend the time between injections.
It's important to note that ongoing treatment is often necessary because diabetes and high blood sugar levels can continue to cause damage to the eyes. Even with good control of blood sugar levels and improved vision, the damage caused by diabetes can persist. Therefore, regular monitoring and treatment are essential to manage the condition effectively.
The need for regular eye exams will depend on the severity of the disease and the observations made by the doctor. These exams help assess the progress of the treatment and detect any changes or complications in the eyes. By monitoring the condition closely, the doctor can make informed decisions about the frequency and duration of treatment.
In addition to medical treatment, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial for overall health and managing diabetes. Following a balanced diet recommended by a registered dietitian and engaging in regular physical exercise can contribute to better blood sugar control and overall well-being.
Consulting with an eye doctor, such as an ophthalmologist or optometrist, along with your family physician and other healthcare professionals, can provide personalized guidance on your individual treatment plan. They can assess your specific condition, provide appropriate treatment, and offer advice on managing your diabetic retinopathy effectively.
Bleeding inside the eye can indeed cause vision loss and lead to a sudden inability to see out of the affected eye. This condition is known as vitreous hemorrhage. The vitreous is a gel-like substance that fills the center of the eye, and when it becomes filled with blood, it can block the light entering the eye and impair vision.
There are several potential causes of vitreous hemorrhage, including:
Diabetic retinopathy: This condition occurs in people with diabetes and can cause abnormal blood vessel growth in the retina, which may bleed into the vitreous.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD): In some cases of AMD, abnormal blood vessels can develop under the retina, and if these vessels leak or rupture, they can lead to vitreous hemorrhage.
Retinal tears or detachment: Trauma or injury to the eye can cause retinal tears or detachment, which may result in bleeding into the vitreous.
Blood vessel abnormalities: Abnormalities in blood vessels, such as vascular malformations, may cause spontaneous bleeding into the vitreous.
Treatment options for vitreous hemorrhage depend on the underlying cause and the severity of the condition. In some cases, the blood may clear up on its own over time as the body absorbs the blood. However, if the bleeding persists or if there is a risk of permanent vision loss, surgical intervention may be necessary.
Surgical procedures such as vitrectomy can be performed to remove the blood-filled vitreous and repair any underlying issues, such as retinal tears or detachment. However, the success of the surgery and the potential for restoring vision depend on various factors, including the extent of the bleeding, the underlying cause, and the overall health of the eye.
It's important to consult with an eye care professional if you experience sudden vision loss or any concerning changes in your vision. They can provide an accurate diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment options based on your specific condition.Often seeing a local Ophthalmologists or Optometrist in conjunction with your family physician or a registered dietician is a great option to dealing with eye conditions and symptoms. Smart Food Now and exercise is also important for overall health.
Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment Options
Diabetic retinopathy, we start treating from a holistic approach. We have to deal with the diabetes as it affects a patient’s body. So our first step in treating diabetic retinopathy is making sure a patient’s blood sugar is optimized, that whatever treatments they’re receiving for their diabetes in the systemic level are optimally managed, that the blood sugar is controlled with the context of good blood pressure control, cholesterol control, kidney function is assessed, and all those potential risk factors for all the complications of diabetes, but including diabetic retinopathy, are optimized.
At that point, we tend to be in a situation where we are monitoring people for the development of diabetic retinopathy. And this can typically be done with a yearly eye assessment, dilating drops and then evaluation.
And in doing that, we would tend to pick up people who have developed early diabetic retinopathy. The follow-up interval then changes. If you have changes that are worrisome, you might be coming back at the three or four monthly interval. If everything looks good, you may even be sent away for up to two years. But in general, it’s ideal to try to stick that that one-year interval as much as possible.
The treatment of diabetic retinopathy is really based on what type of retinopathy you have in your eyes. If you have swelling in the central part of your vision or near the central part of your vision, which is called diabetic macular edema, then we tend to start with one of two treatment options.
If the leakage is not very close to your center vision, we can do a little bit of laser treatment, which is a bright flashing light in the eye, and it is pretty painless and it doesn’t really set you back in terms of recovery.
You’re pretty much good to go the same day. Up to injection treatments. And we do the injection treatments when the swelling or the leakage is more in the center vision, where it’s not safe to do laser.
And there in that setting, you may undergo a series of injections with a class of drugs called anti-VEGF drugs, and those drugs – there’s a few different ones – they tend to reduce the fluid and the leakage from the blood vessels and help restore vision if it’s becoming deteriorated or if you’re having distortion or vision loss.
The other type of diabetic retinopathy, where blood vessels grow in the back of your eye and often lead to bleeding, that’s initially treated with more of an extensive laser, of the peripheral retina, and that tends to stop the blood vessels from growing and can cause them to regress and go away. That laser can be a bit more uncomfortable and often takes a lot longer to administer.
So that would be something to discuss with your ophthalmologist, the process around that in more detail if you were scheduled for a more extensive laser called pan retinal photo coagulation.
There’s also a role for the anti-VEGEF drugs in treating the type of diabetic retinopathy where blood vessels are growing, and that’s still being clarified in the literature. But there does tend to appear to be some significant benefit to using these injectable drugs when you have blood vessels that are growing in the back of your eye.
Now in the advanced stages of the blood vessel growth part of diabetic retinopathy, there can be bleeding in the eye, and there can be scar tissue that starts to pull your retina off. When those things occur, you’ll ultimately probably need a vitrectomy or surgical intervention to remove the scar tissue and blood from your eye. Local Ophthalmologist
And again, that’s a more involved procedure, and you would definitely want to discuss any issues around that with your ophthalmologist, your vitreoretinal surgeon at that point in time.
Treating diabetic retinopathy often involves injections, specifically intravitreal injections of medication into the eye. The frequency and duration of treatment can vary depending on the severity of the disease and the individual patient's response to treatment.
In the initial stages of treatment, monthly injections are commonly recommended. However, as the eye responds to treatment and the condition stabilizes, the doctor may choose to extend the time between injections. This decision is typically based on the doctor's assessment of your progress and the specific characteristics of your condition.
It's important to note that diabetes and high blood sugar levels can continue to cause ongoing damage to the blood vessels in the eye, even with treatment. As a result, ongoing monitoring and treatment may be necessary to manage the condition effectively and prevent further vision loss.
Regular eye exams are crucial for the early detection and monitoring of diabetic retinopathy. The frequency of these exams will depend on the severity of the disease and your doctor's recommendations. Even if your vision and blood sugar control improve with treatment, it's important to understand that diabetes-related damage can persist. Therefore, ongoing monitoring is essential to catch any changes or progression of the condition.
I agree with your suggestion to consult with an eye doctor, such as an ophthalmologist or optometrist, who specializes in diabetic eye care. They can provide personalized guidance on your individual treatment plan based on your specific needs and circumstances. It's also important to work closely with your family physician and a registered dietitian to manage your overall health, including blood sugar control through proper diet and exercise.
Remember that maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and proper management of your diabetes, can also contribute to the overall well-being of your eyes and help reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy complications.
The progression of diabetic retinopathy typically takes time, often developing over several years. It usually advances through four stages:
Mild Nonproliferative Retinopathy: In this early stage, small areas of balloon-like swelling called microaneurysms may develop in the retinal blood vessels. These microaneurysms may leak fluid into the retina.
Moderate Nonproliferative Retinopathy: As the condition progresses, the blood vessels that nourish the retina may become blocked, leading to the formation of additional retinal blood vessel abnormalities.
Severe Nonproliferative Retinopathy: In this stage, a significant number of blood vessels become blocked, which deprives the retina of its blood supply. As a result, the retina may send signals to promote the growth of new blood vessels.
Proliferative Retinopathy: This advanced stage is characterized by the growth of new blood vessels on the surface of the retina. However, these new vessels are fragile and prone to bleeding, leading to the formation of scar tissue. The scar tissue can cause the retina to detach, leading to severe vision loss or blindness.
Regular eye examinations, especially for individuals with diabetes, are crucial for detecting and managing diabetic retinopathy in its early stages. Early intervention, such as laser treatment or medication injections, can help prevent or slow down the progression of the disease and preserve vision. Managing blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels effectively also plays a significant role in reducing the risk and progression of diabetic retinopathy.