Diabetic Retinopathy is a disorder of the retinal blood vessels resulting from diabetes mellitus, the one of the major causes of blindness at present. It will develop ruptured blood vessels and fibrosis of the retina.
The risk of developing diabetic retinopathy is high for patients having had diabetes for 5 years or more.

There are 2 forms of diabetic retinopathy.

Background diabetic retinopathy (BDR)
Blackground diabetic retinopathy is blood vessels within the retina changing and occurs an early stage of diabetic retinopathy and progresses slowly over the years. The majority of patients do not develop vision loss except for a gradual blurring of vision which can often go unnoticed. In some patients, blood vessels leak at the macula- the part of the retina responsible for central vision, causing loss of vision. This stage is a warning sign and can progress to sight-endangering stages.

Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR)
Proliferative diabetic retinopathy develops from background retinopathy and is responsible for most of the visual loss in diabetes. New blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina and optic nerve. These immature blood vessels tend to rupture and bleed into the vitreous cavity. Scar tissues can also grow from ruptured blood vessels which will contract and pull on the retina, detaching it with the resulting loss of vision. New vessels can also grow on the iris and cause a form of glaucoma, which itself can lead to blindness.

When bleeding occurs in proliferative retinopathy, the patient has hazy or complete loss of sight. This severe form of diabetic retinopathy requires immediate medical attention.

Treatment
Laser treatment is used to seal or obliterate the abnormal leaking blood vessels. This procedure focuses a powerful beam of laser light onto the damaged retina. Small bursts of the laser energy seal leaking vessels and form tiny scars inside the eye. The scars reduce new vessel growth and cause existing ones to shrink and close.

Successful treatment of diabetic retinopathy depends on early detection and treatment. All diabetics are advised to control their diabetes with diet and medication to delay or prevent the development of diabetic retinopathy and other complications. They are also advised to undergo a yearly eye examination.



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