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Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is an ophthalmic complication of diabetes that affects the blood vessels of the retina.
 
   Foto van gebouw gezien door iemand met diabetische retinopathie


Pathogenesis

The risk of developing diabetic retinopathy becomes greater the longer a person is diabetic or if diabetes is not managed well. The severity of the problem can vary immensely. At an early stage, the minute blood vessels undergo only slight changes that are not even visible to an ophthalmologist. In some subsequent stages, there may be risk of increased leakage of the blood vessels and the person might suffer from severe bleeding in the entire retina, for example.

Symptoms

Visual acuity can vary because the blood sugar level differs from the blood sugar level in eye lens. Depending on the severity and the location of the blood vessel problem, a person may suffer from loss of visual field.

Treatment

First of all, it is necessary to have regular check-ups by a general practitioner or eye specialist. Doctors can attempt to prevent further deterioration by using laser surgery, retinal cryopexy (rarely), a vitrectomy or injections into the eye.

Practical consequences

Depending on the loss (central or peripheral):
  • Not noticing objects due to loss of visual field
  • Problems in seeing clearly
  • Sensitivity to glaring light

Options at Visio

> Advice about assistance products
> Counselling and training
> Examination
 

External links

> Diabetes Federation
> Diabetes Fund
 

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About Visio

Visio welcomes anyone with questions about being partially sighted or blind. Visio provides information and advice as well as different services related to research, counselling, rehabilitation, education and living.