Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is an anomaly due to depletion of insulin whereby the retina is damaged with 285 million people affected globally.

DR is the leading cause of blindness in American adults presenting symptoms such as floating object in vision, blurry vision and eventually loss of vision

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What causes Diabetic Retinopathy?

It’s a complication of Diabetes Mellitus whereby there is build up of sugar leads to formation of new blood vessels in the eye (neovascularization) which eventually leaks to the macula.

There are four stages of DR, and they include:

  • mild non-proliferative retinopathy
  • Moderate non-proliferative retinopathy
  • Severe non-proliferative retinopathy
  • Proliferative retinopathy.

Who are those at risk of DR?

If you smoke, eat high cholesterol foods, live unhealthy lifestyle, have underlying heart diseases or have Diabetes. you are likely to have Diabetic retinopathy if care is not taken.

Diagnosis of DR is by an ophthalmologist making use of OCT (optical coherence tomography), photocoagulation and pan-retinal photocoagulation (focal laser treatment.some of these diagnosis procedure can also help to stop or slow down macula edema.

Treatment of Diabetic retinopathy

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Actually there is no cure for it yet and most of what you can do is management by keeping diabetes in control, however there are still some treatment method you can employ to prevent blindness and maintain your sight when suffering from DR, some of them include:

1. Blood glucose & Diabetic diet

Mild cases of Diabetic retinopathy can be treated this way.

2. Virectomy:This is a surgery procedure whereby a part of the vitreous is removed and replace with other osmotic fluid, you don’t need to stay in the hospital for this to be carried out and then anaesthetic is required i.e. you’d be injected with a substance that will inhibit pain and make you unaware of the surgery.

Some side effects from virectomy include aching, increase sensitivity to light etc.

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3. Injection of medicine into the eye to treat maculopathy.

4. Laser treatment:Laser beam is shun into the eye to treat neovascularization and maculopathy.

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Depression might be associated with Diabetic retinopathy as most patient fear the loss of their sight which is why there is need for participation in diabetes education programme to cope with negative mental health, also there is need to stop smoking, controlling glucose level in order to eradicate DR.

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