Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes, which is characterized by damage to the blood vessels of the eye. Board certified Dr. William Boothe says that diabetic retinopathy develops in 40-50 percent of patients who suffer from diabetes, and leads to severe vision loss in almost half of those cases.
The beginning of retinopathy is characterized by the dilatation of small blood vessels and they also become more twisted.. Blood supply is disturbed in the changed vessels, which leads to vessel wall thinning and microaneurysm development. Plugs often form inside the vessels, which hamper their blood supply. This in turn promotes thickening of the blood vessel walls; the blood vessels loose their elasticity and become very fragile. Eventually, this condition leads to the development of significant hemorrhages in the retina, and substances such as proteins and fats, which normally has to be deleted, start to accumulate. The accumulation of these substances in the eye causes vision loss. The end-stage retinopathy is accompanied by the formation of new vessels in the retina. These blood vessels often break due to their fragileness and cause new hemorrhages. This leads to vitreous opacity and dramatic vision deterioration as well as complete blindness.
According to Top Texas Ophthalmologist Dr. Boothe, the most common method used to treat diabetic retinopathy is a laser photocoagulation. This type of treatment is intended to prevent the formation of the new blood vessels and new hemorrhages. The procedure allows to preserve vision in more than half of diabetic cases with proliferative diabetic retinopathy. In fact, laser photocoagulation is often very effective in preventing, delaying, or reducing vision loss. However, it is necessary to mentions that it does not restore lost vision sharpness.
Dr. Boothe notes that avoiding both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia guarantees that diabetic retinopathy will not develop and be aggravated (if you already have complications and have undergone the laser photocoagulation procedure). You do need to have your vision checked at least twice a year. It is utterly important to start treatment at an early stage to prevent the development of more severe retinopathy. If this post describes your situation, you need to consult and be under supervision of an experienced ophthalmologist.