The retina is like the film of a camera. It is the seeing tissue. It has two parts, the Peripheral Retina & Macula (Central Retina). Macula is responsible for clarity and quality of vision. Peripheral Retina enables us to have panoramic view. Macula has a large number of capillaries (tiny blood vessels).
Diabetes Mellitus is a disorder of sugar/ glucose metabolism in the human body in which the body cannot utilize it for energy. The extra unutilized sugar acts like poison for the whole body affecting every organ especially the eyes, heart, kidney and brain. Retina needs a lot of oxygen and has plenty of blood vessels, so it gets affected and the condition is known as DIABETIC RETINOPATHY. It results in loss of vision.
There are mainly 2 stages of diabetic retinopathy;
This is the earliest stage where blood vessels in the retina leak fluid, sometimes fat and blood into retinal tissue.
This results in development of Micro aneurysms, edema (swelling) and hard exudates in retina. Many people with NPDR have normal vision and the treatment consists of STRICT CONTROL of Diabetes and associated systemic illnesses. Periodic follow up examinations every year is very important to catch the disease at the earliest.
FFA (Fundus Fluoresceine Angiography): Fluoresceine dye is injected in the vein and photographs are taken of both retina with FUNDUS CAMERA. It shows the structure of retinal vessels, leakages and perfusion status of retina.
Provides additional information regarding thickness and structure of macula and relationship of vitreous fluid to macula.
Closure of multiple capillaries (tiny blood vessels) leads to growth of abnormal new blood vessels on the surface of retina and / or optic nerve (neovascularisation). These new vessels are weak and bleed easily, leading to vitreous hemorrhage. They are often accompanied by scar tissue which can lead to tractional retinal detachment. When the macula is detached, vision can be lost.
It consists of 2-3 sittings of laser treatment to entire retina except the optic disk and macula. Also called Pan Retinal Photocoagulation (PRP)
Some patients present at this stage, some patients worsen despite adequate laser treatment and may have vitreous hemorrhage, retinal detachment and Neovascular Glaucoma. These patients may have very poor vision.
PRP laser if possible and Vitreous surgery to remove scar tissue. Usually, the results are encouraging.
Diabetic Retinopathy is the most leading cause of preventable blindness after cataract. Risk Factors are:
Your pupils are dilated with eye drops and retina is examined by special equipments like Indirect Ophthalmoscope and Slit Lamp Bio Microscope.