What is Diabetic Eye Disease?
Eye problems that can occur as a complication of diabetes in people with diabetes are called diabetic eye disease. Problems that can be seen in diabetic eye disease are below.
What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
It is the damage of the thin blood vessels that feed the retina (mesh layer).
What is Cataract?
Cataract is the loss of transparency of the natural lens in the eye. Cataracts occur at an earlier age in diabetic patients.
What is Glaucoma?
It is an illness that decreases vision by increasing intraocular pressure and consequently damaging the visual nerve. A person with diabetes has twice the risk of developing Glaucoma than others.
What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetic Retinopathy is one of the most important causes of blindness today. It occurs as a result of damage to the blood vessels that feed the retina (mesh layer). The retina is a photosensitive layer and must be healthy for vision function. Different types of damage occur in Diabetic Retinopathy. The structure of the blood vessels deteriorates, forming small bubbles, causing bleeding and causing fluid in the vein to leak into the surrounding tissues. In the following stages, new unwanted vascular buds form on the Retina and cause sudden intraocular bleeding. In diabetic retinopathy, vision loss does not develop at first, and as the disease progresses, vision weakness begins. For this reason, diabetic patients who do not complain about vision should not think that diabetic retinopathy will not occur, and patients should have an eye examination at regular intervals. Diabetes disease generally affects both eyes.
What are the stages of diabetic retinopathy?
- Mild Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy: In this early stage, bubbles called microaneurysms are formed in the retinal vessels.
- Moderate Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy: The bubbles in the retinal vessels are increased and blockages are observed in the vessels.
- Severe Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy: Vascular occlusion and bleeding increases, and oxygen deficiency in the retina becomes evident.
- Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy: Oxygen deficiency and lack of nutrition in the retina increase and new and unhealthy vascular formation begins in the retina by sending danger signals to the brain. These new vessels are very delicate, can cause bleeding and sudden vision loss at any time.
How does diabetic retinopathy cause vision loss?
Diabetic Retinopathy Makes Sight Loss in Two Ways:
- Fluid leaking from the weakened veins is collected in the visual center called macula, and a collection of water called macular edema occurs. This gradually decreases vision over time.
- In the advanced stage, sudden hemorrhages may occur due to poor new vascular formations and cause sudden vision loss.
Who is at Risk for Diabetic Retinopathy?
All people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are at risk of Diabetic Retinopathy. Every diabetic patient should undergo detailed retinal screening by enlarging the pupil at least twice a year. The longer the person has diabetes, the greater the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Pregnancy also carries risks for women with diabetes. The frequency of detailed retinal examination should be increased during pregnancy.
Secil CILLI, M.D.