Diabetic Retinopathy: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

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Diabetes has affected a large amount of the population all over the globe. Around 11.4% of the Indian population has been diagnosed with diabetes this year. People usually choose to have an unhealthy lifestyle and diet choices in their lives and suffer from health issues in their later years of life. When it comes to having a fit and unscathed body, a very small population chooses their health over their desires.

Diabetic retinopathy is only one of the aftereffects of diabetes. Retinopathy is a condition that causes vision loss and blurred eyesight in most of the cases. When high blood sugar levels in your body reach the blood vessels going to your retina, sugar blocks the vessels. Your eyes make other blood vessels nourish themselves, but new blood vessels are weaker and are prone to damage and bleeding. Learn more about the causes and treatments of diabetic retinopathy in further paragraphs:

What Are The Reasons Of Your Diabetic Retinopathy?

The main cause for diabetic retinopathy is high blood sugar levels, which causes diabetes, and in its later stages, a person gets the chronic eye condition costing their vision. Usually, people with earlier stages of diabetes don’t get retinopathy, but when left unattended for long, it leads a person to partially or completely lose their eyesight. There are four main stages of diabetic retinopathy, mentioned as follows:

  • Stage 1: Mild Or Nonproliferative Retinopathy
  • Stage 2: Moderate Retinopathy
  • Stage 3: Severe Retinopathy
  • Stage 4: Proliferative Retinopathy
Reasons Of Your Diabetic Retinopathy

Indication Of Retinopathy In A Person

When it comes to checking whether you have diabetic retinopathy or not, many indications can help you diagnose your condition by yourself. Retinopathy has been studied by researchers in many health institutes for decades, and all of them have come up with almost the same results and indications. 

Though losing vision partially or completely is not the only result of retinopathy, there are many other health conditions and diseases that can cause this. Anyway, Here are the indications that will make you sure of your diabetic retinopathy.

1] Having Dark Spots Or Strings In Your Vision

If you have had diabetes for a long time and you have been ignoring the symptoms, there is a high chance that you will get diabetic retinopathy. Retinopathy mainly starts with a person having dark spots or string in their vision. When you have black and dark spots, simply speaking, you can’t see anything completely from your one eye. It is a big sign indicating that you have severe diabetic retinopathy.

2] Blurry Or Faded Eyesight

Blurry vision is a common case for many people in the world and can be a result of physical damage or trauma to your eyes. But, if you have a history of type-2 diabetes, then there is a high chance that you have retinopathy in your eyes. Blurry eyesight can only be in your single eye or in both of your eyes. Have your eyes checked before your condition worsens.

3] Partial Or Complete Loss Of Vision

Losing your vision completely is the last stage of diabetic retinopathy, and generally, people don’t get to that. When a person leaves diabetes and ignores all the signs of retinopathy for a long time, their vision gets lost forever. This condition is irreversible and can’t be treated.

Treatments And Remedies Of Diabetic Retinopathy

When it comes to treating your retinopathy and having your normal vision back, you can choose to improve your diet and lifestyle first. Starting with a healthy diet and zero sugar for a long time, you can go for treatments recommended by doctors, like laser treatment or eye injections. These are options for the last resort, and many people don’t get to that stage. Anyway, looking at the conditions of many people, here are a few common treatments for diabetic retinopathy:

1] Lose Weight

You might be wondering how losing weight is related to the treatment of retinopathy. So, when you lose your excess body fat and get fit, your blood sugar levels deplete drastically, along with cholesterol and insulin. This promotes your body to treat the damage previously done to your body, including your eyes. Eventually, by healing your eyes, your immune system will get back to the work of protecting your body from outer organisms.

2] Have A Healthy Diet

Diet plays an important role in reducing the symptoms of your diabetes, including the retinopathy in your eyes. A diet that includes vitamins B1, B2, B6, L-methyl folate, and vitamins E, C, and D is the ultimate revival choice for your eyesight. When you choose to lose weight along with having your diet in control, your body toxins get released, and your body health also improves. 

This remedy is completely for the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, and if you have crossed that stage, immediately seek a doctor’s attention and get your proper treatment from experts.

3] Laser Eye Treatment

When you have diabetic retinopathy in its later stages, like Severe or proliferative retinopathy, you start to see some of the above indications. This is the time that you consult your doctor immediately and get your laser treatment. A doctor will make you go through a laser treatment, recovering your damaged blood vessels in the hope of reviving your vision.

Conclusion

Diabetes can be prevented from even happening if you have a healthy diet and avoid stress as much as you can. Stress is also one of the main reasons, along with poor diet, that causes diabetes. When a person is under stress and doesn’t get relief from it, cholesterol levels start to increase in the body, and it promotes blood sugar levels in the bloodstream. 

In the global retinopathy rate, almost 27% of the total population suffers from diabetic retinopathy; this leads to 0.4 million people losing their vision every year. If you are in the early stages of diabetes, start taking necessary precautions immediately to prevent further damage to your body. Choose a healthy lifestyle and diet along with regular exercise to stay healthy and live a much longer and healthier life than many others.

References

Brownlee M. The pathobiology of diabetic complications: A unifying mechanism. Diabetes. 2005;54:1615–1625. doi: 10.2337/diabetes.54.6.1615. [PubMed

Bek T. Diameter changes of retinal vessels in diabetic retinopathy. Curr. Diabetes Rep. 2017;17:82. doi: 10.1007/s11892-017-0909-9.  [CrossRef

Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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