Diabetic retinopathy is best diagnosed with a dilated eye exam. For this examination, drops placed in your eyes expand (dilate) your pupils to permit your doctor to much better view inside your eyes. The drops might cause your close vision to blur up until they subside, a number of hours later on.
During the test, your eye doctor will search for:
- Irregular capillary
- Swelling, blood or fatty deposits in the retina
- Growth of new members vessels and scar tissue
- Bleeding in the clear, jelly-like substance that fills the center of the eye (vitreous)
- Retinal detachment
- Irregularities in your optic nerve
In addition, your eye doctor might:
- Test your vision
- Procedure your eye pressure to test for glaucoma
- Search for proof of cataracts
With your eyes dilated, your doctor takes pictures of the inside of your eyes. Then your doctor will inject an unique color into your arm and take more photos as the dye circulates through your eyes. Your doctor can use the images to identify capillary that are closed, broken down or leaking fluid.
Optical coherence tomography
Your optometrist may ask for an optical coherence tomography (OCT) test. This imaging test supplies cross-sectional pictures of the retina that show the thickness of the retina, which will help determine whether fluid has actually dripped into retinal tissue. Later, OCT examinations can be used to monitor how treatment is working.
Treatment, which depends mainly on the kind of diabetic retinopathy you have and how severe it is, is geared to slowing or stopping progression of the condition.
Early diabetic retinopathy
If you have moderate or moderate nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy, you may not require treatment immediately. However, your eye doctor will closely monitor your eyes to determine when you may need treatment.
Deal with your diabetes doctor (endocrinologist) to figure out if there are ways to improve your diabetes management. When diabetic retinopathy is moderate or moderate, excellent blood sugar level control can usually slow the progression.
See also: Keeping Eyes Healthy with Diabetes
Advanced diabetic retinopathy
If you have proliferative diabetic retinopathy or macular edema, you’ll need prompt surgical treatment. Depending upon the specific problems with your retina, choices may include:
- Focal laser treatment. This laser treatment, likewise known as photocoagulation, can stop or slow the leak of blood and fluid in the eye. During the procedure, leakages from irregular blood vessels are treated with laser burns.
Focal laser treatment is typically performed in your doctor’s workplace or eye center in a single session. If you had actually blurred vision from macular edema prior to surgery, the treatment might not return your vision to normal, however it’s likely to reduce the opportunity the macular edema might get worse.
- Scatter laser treatment. This laser treatment, likewise referred to as panretinal photocoagulation, can diminish the abnormal capillary. During the procedure, the areas of the retina away from the macula are treated with spread laser burns. The burns cause the irregular new members vessels to shrink and scar.
It’s typically done in your doctor’s workplace or eye center in two or more sessions. Your vision will be blurry for about a day after the procedure. Some loss of peripheral vision or night vision after the procedure is possible.
- Vitrectomy. This procedure uses a small cut in your eye to remove blood from the middle of the eye (vitreous) as well as scar tissue that’s tugging on the retina. It’s carried out in a surgery center or healthcare facility utilizing regional or general anesthesia.
Surgery frequently slows or stops the progression of diabetic retinopathy, but it’s not a remedy. Since diabetes is a lifelong condition, future retinal damage and vision loss are still possible. Even after treatment for diabetic retinopathy, you’ll need regular eye examinations. At some time, additional treatment may be advised.
Researchers are studying new treatments for diabetic retinopathy, including medications that may help prevent unusual capillary from forming in the eye. A few of these medications are injected straight into the eye to treat swelling or abnormal capillary. These treatments appear appealing, however more research study is needed.
You cannot always prevent diabetic retinopathy. However, routine eye tests, great control of your blood sugar level and high blood pressure, and early intervention for vision issues can assist prevent severe vision loss.
If you have diabetes, reduce your risk of getting diabetic retinopathy by doing the following:
- Handle your diabetes. Make healthy consuming and physical activity part of your day-to-day routine. Aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, such as walking, each week. Take oral diabetes medications or insulin as directed.
- Monitor your blood sugar level level. You might need to examine and tape your blood sugar level a number of times a day — more-frequent measurements may be required if you’re ill or under stress. Ask your doctor how frequently you need to test your blood sugar.
- Ask your doctor about a glycosylated hemoglobin test. The glycosylated hemoglobin test, or hemoglobin A1C test, reflects your average blood sugar level for the two- to three-month duration prior to the test. For many people, the A1C objective is to be under 7 percent.
- Keep your high blood pressure and cholesterol under control. Eating healthy foods, working out frequently and losing excess weight can assist. In some cases medication is needed, too.
- If you smoke or use other types of tobacco, ask your doctor to assist you stop. Smoking increases your risk of different diabetes complications, including diabetic retinopathy.
- Pay attention to vision changes. Contact your optometrist right now if you experience sudden vision modifications or your vision ends up being blurred, spotty or hazy.
Keep in mind, diabetes doesn’t always cause vision loss. Taking an active role in diabetes management can go a long method towards preventing complications.