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Diabetic retinopathy: what is it and how to cure it

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that can arise even after 5-10 years after the first diagnosis of the disease. It is one of the most serious diseases of the retina and affects mainly people between 25 and 60 years who already have diabetes, especially if the disease is not treated properly.

In particular, retinopathy damage the nervous layer present in the back of the eye. With time, the elevated blood glucose levels weaken blood vessels present within the retina, which is not receiving an adequate amount of blood and oxygen, degenerate.

In severe cases of retinopathy can lead to blindness.

There are two types of diabetic retinopathy, which are distinguished by the severity of the disease:

  • nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR). Represents the first stage of the disease, the less severe and more easily reversible. In this case the blood vessels weakened by diabetes may present microaneurysms, bleeding or thrombosis in the most serious cases macular edema. Often in NPDR the patient has no particular symptoms, or felt in some cases a slight distortion of vision.
  • proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). It represents the most advanced stage of the disease, when blood vessels swell abnormally damaging the retina. The most common symptoms are represented from glamor vision or sudden loss of visual acuity, which make it difficult even the most common measures of reading, writing and driving. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy can result in serious phenomena such as retinal detachment or glaucoma.

How is diabetic retinopathy

The best way to intervene on retinopathy is to prevent it.

In particular, diabetics are advised to timely book an eye exam, in order to monitor the condition of the retina and the state of visual skills.

As regards the diseases in advanced stages, it is possible to apply some treatments intended to limit the progression of the disease. Clearly the treatment varies with the severity of the disease and the extent of the damage to the back of the eye.

One of the most effective treatments to contain the progress of retinopathy is one based on laser use.

In the case of macular edema (ie leakage and blood from the capillaries), the laser light impinges damaged blood vessels, favoring the fluid reabsorption and restoring visual function.

In the more serious diseases such as for example in retinal detachment, it is advisable to surgically intervene with a special operation, vitrectomy.

Through this technique we shall export the vitreous, the jelly-like substance that is placed inside the eye, responsible for the formation of retinopathy.

Each situation should however be evaluated individually to determine the means of intervention more correct in relation to your medical condition.