Diabetic Retinopathy

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Diabetic retinopathy is damage to the eyes retina that occurs with long-term diabetes. Dr. Edward Hill explains what this condition does and why it occurs in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Patients with diabetes are more likely to develop eye problems such as cataracts and glaucoma. Diabetic retinopathy is the main threat to vision.

The earliest phase of the disease is known as background diabetic retinopathy. In this phase, the arteries in the retina become weakened and leak, forming small, dot-like hemorrhages in the eye. These leaking vessels often lead to swelling or edema in the retina and decreased vision.

The next stage is known as proliferative diabetic retinopathy. In this stage, circulation problems cause areas of the retina to become oxygen-deprived or ischemic.

New, fragile, vessels develop which can hemorrhage easily. Blood may leak into the retina and vitreous, causing spots or floaters, along with decreased vision.

Patients who suffer from diabetic retinopathy complain of cloudy vision, sensitivity to glare, blind spots, peripheral visual field loss, reduced night vision, reduced color discrimination and double vision.

Diabetic retinopathy can be prevented with good blood glucose control and regular eye care.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.