By Express Features
BENGALURU: There are no symptoms in the early stages of the diabetic eye, nor is there any pain. A comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year is a must to avoid diabetic retinopathy which is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in diabetic adults. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina, say health experts.
Dr Rajesh Ramanujulu Jr, consultant vitreo-retina and ocular oncology, Sankara Eye Hospital says, ‘’In some people with diabetic retinopathy, blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In other people, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. A healthy retina is necessary for good vision. A person with diabetic retinopathy at first may not notice changes to vision. But over time, diabetic retinopathy can get worse and cause vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes.”
Who is at risk for diabetic retinopathy?
Dr YL Rajashekhar, Head of Media Strategies at Vasan Eye Care says, all people with diabetes — both type 1 and type 2 — are at risk. That’s why everyone with diabetes should get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. The longer someone has diabetes, the more likely he or she will get diabetic retinopathy.
During pregnancy, diabetic retinopathy may cause problems. To protect vision, every pregnant woman with diabetes should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam as soon as possible.
To prevent progression of diabetic retinopathy, people with diabetes should control their levels of blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol.
Proliferative retinopathy  one of the stages in diabetic retinopathy is treated with laser surgery. This procedure is called scatter laser treatment. Scatter laser treatment helps to shrink the abnormal blood vessels. Your doctor places 1,000 to 2,000 laser burns in the areas of the retina away from the macula, causing the abnormal blood vessels to shrink. Because a high number of laser burns are necessary, two or more sessions usually are required to complete treatment. Although you may notice some loss of your side vision, scatter laser treatment can save the rest of your sight. Scatter laser treatment may slightly reduce your color vision and night vision.
Scatter laser treatment works better before the fragile, new blood vessels have started to bleed. That is why it is important to have regular, comprehensive dilated eye exams. Even if bleeding has started, scatter laser treatment may still be possible, depending on the amount of bleeding.
If the bleeding is severe, you may need a surgical procedure called a vitrectomy. During a vitrectomy, blood is removed from the center of your eye……….
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Source: New Indian Express