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Diabetes and Eye - Facts you should know.

The first medical fact on diabetic retinopathy

What is diabetic retinopathy ?

Diabetes is a disease, which affects the small blood vessels of all the organs of the body. As the disease progresses it inevitably involves the microvasular architecture i.e. the blood supply of the retina (sensory part of the eye) also. This manifestation of diabetes is called as diabetic retinopathy.

The disease process mainly affects.
Among younger-onset patients with diabetes, the prevalence of any retinopathy was 8% at 3 years, 25% at 5 years, 60% at 10 years, and 80% at 15 years.
Up to 21% of patients with type 2 diabetes have retinopathy at the time of first diagnosis of diabetes, and most develop some degree of retinopathy over time.


Can it cause blindness ?

Yes.
Severe loss of vision can occur due to bleeding within the eye or a retinal detachment (detachment of the sensory part of the eye). Moderate loss of vision can occur due to oedema (swelling) of the retina.


Can it be detected early ?

A simple dilated eye examination by a retina specialist can help to determine the amount and severity of the disease.


What all treatments are available ?

LASER can help to prevent a bleed in the eye and also decrease swelling of the retina. However, it cannot usually restore vision lost due to the retinal damage. It has to be appropriately timed.


What can I do to slow its progression ?

By keeping your blood sugar under strict control, by keeping your blood pressure under control, by keeping your cholesterol under control you can probably help yourself more than your retina specialist.


How can I be helped at ARC Telediagnosis ?

We have an expert retina specialists to diagnose and advise management of diabetic retinopathy. You can send us your fundus (retina) photograph and fluorescein angiography images online. Either scan prints given to you by your doctor or ask your doctor to give you images on a CD which you can upload on our site. Seeing the images you can be advised whether or not any LASER is required and or any other surgical management if required. Also mail us your investigation reports relating to blood sugar, cholesterol, HbA1c and kidney function tests. This will enable us to tell you whether you are managing to keep your diabetes under control or not. We believe in a multi-faceted approach and a comprehensive management of diabetic patients.

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