What Is Diabetic Retinopathy and How to Manage It

Diabetes is an autoimmune disease characterized by high blood sugar levels for an extended period. It is the result of improper blood sugar regulation caused by increased insulin resistance in the body. If left untreated, diabetes can become a source of several vision problems like diabetic retinopathy. 

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy is caused by elevated levels of blood sugar blocking small blood vessels in the retina. This causes the body to develop newer but weaker blood vessels that can cause blood leaks in the eye. This disease affects up to 80% of people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

 Two Types of Diabetic Retinopathy
1. Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (NPDR): Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy is the primary stage of diabetic retinopathy. This occurs when small blood vessels leak fluids, causing the retina to swell or form exudates.
2. Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy: Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is the advanced stage of retinopathy and is the body’s attempt to save the retina. But instead, this often leads to scarring of the retina. Newer but weaker blood vessels begin to form on the retina to help supply blood.

Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy  
Most people do not experience any signs of diabetes-related retinopathy during its initial stages. Vision changes only occur when the condition is already severe.
Diabetes-retinopathy symptoms that may come and go are:
– Floaters or spots or dark strings floating in your vision
– Blurred and fluctuating vision
– Dark or empty spots in your vision
– Loss of vision

Factors That Increase the Risk of Diabetic Retinopathy
Anyone with diabetes can develop diabetic retinopathy. The risk of developing this disease can increase because of:
– Long-time diabetes
– Poor control of blood sugar Level
– High blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels
– Pregnancy
– Regular Tobacco Use

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Preventing Diabetic Retinopathy
Manage your diabetes: Managing your diabetes at home can be difficult. Here are some tips that can help you better manage your diabetes at home. 5 Tips to Better Manage Your Diabetes at Home – MAN Pharma
Monitor your blood sugar levels: Check and log your blood sugar levels more frequently or as recommended by your doctor.
Monitor blood sugar and cholesterol levels: Eating healthy foods, regular exercise, and losing weight can help decrease the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.
Quit smoking: Regular smoking highly increases the risk of diabetes and other health-related complications.
Be wary of vision changes: Contact your doctor when you notice sudden changes to your vision.