Diabetic Retinopathy


If you have Diabetes, your body does not use and store sugar properly. High blood-sugar levels can damage blood vessels in the retina, the nerve layer at the back of the eye that senses light and helps to send images to the brain. The damage to the retinal vessels is referred to as Diabetic Retinopathy.
There are two types of Diabetic Retinopathy:
  • Nonproliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (NPDR)
  • Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (PDR)
NPDR, commonly known as backround retinopathy, is an early stage of Diabetic Retinopathy. In this stage, tiny blood vessels within the retina leak blood or fluid. The leaking fluid causes the retina to swell or to form deposits called exudates.

PDR is present when abnormal new vessels (neovascularization) begin growing on the surface of the retina or optic nerve. The main cause of PDR is widespread closure of retinal blood vessels, preventing adequate blood flow. The retina responds by growing new blood vessels in an attempt to supply blood to the area where the original vessels closed. Common symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy include fluctuating vision and trouble focusing. Early detection of Diabetic Retinopathy is the best protection against loss of vision.

You can significantly lower your risk of vision loss by maintaining strict control of your blood sugar and visiting your ophthalmologist regularly.