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
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.