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Diabetic Retinopathy


Diabetic retinopathy refers to the adverse effects of diabetes mellitus(raised blood sugar levels) on the retina(the back portion) of the eye. This can happen to patients with both type 1 diabetes (insulin dependent) or type 2 diabetes(which may or may not be insulin dependent).

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The is a progressively blinding disease. The treatment in early stages is rewarding. A lifelong follow up is required. Additionally, good systemic control is of paramount importance in arresting its progress. It also follows that co-existent disorders, such as hypertension(high blood pressure), dyslipidemia(increased fat or cholesterol in the bloodstream) or homocystinuria(increased levels of homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood) can accelerate the disease process. If left untreated, it can result in irreversible blindness.

A diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy can be established by indirect ophthalmoscopy (a technique used to visualize the retina or back portion of the eye). Special investigations, such as fundus fluorescein angiography, ocular coherence tomography scans(OCT) or ultrasonography(B-scan) may be required to plan treatment, dependent upon the stage of the disease.

The disease can be treated with laser photocoagulation, intravitreal injections of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agents and/or steroids, and, in the later stages, with surgery. Surgery generally involves vitrectomy and silicone oil placement.

Do you have diabetes mellitus? Do you know anyone who has diabetes mellitus? You can avail of our screening services. Do get in touch with us if you have any queries related to diabetes mellitus and how it affects the eye.


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