Diabetic retinopathy also known as diabetic eye disease is vision threatening damage caused to retina due to diabetes. It can eventually lead to blindness.
The retina is third and inner and inner coat of the eye. It is light sensitive layer at back of the eye. It converts light into electrical signals. The brain receive the signals through optic nerve, the brain interprets them and produces the images which you see.
Retina is surrounded by a network of tiny blood vessels which provides constant supply of blood to retina for its effective working.
Diabetic retinopathy as the name suggests is caused due to complications of Diabetes. It occurs when high blood glucose or blood sugar level increases and cause damage to light sensitive layer retina and blood vessels present in it. Patient with diabetes are at risk of developing retinopathy. Uncontrolled diabetes allows unusually high levels of blood sugar (hyperglycemia) to accumulate in blood vessels, causing damage that hampers or alters blood flow to your body’s organs — including your eyes.
Eye damage is caused when chronically high amounts of blood sugar begin to clog or damage blood vessels within the eye’s retina, which contains light-sensitive cells (photoreceptors) necessary for good vision.
There is change in blood vessels reaching retina. Sometimes these vessels swell and leak fluid or even close off completely. Also there can be abnormal growth of new blood vessels on the surface of the retina.
Diabetic retinopathy affects the eye. Patient suffering from retinopathy do not notice the change in their vision, but in later stages when it progresses there is blurred vision.
According to statistics, there is steady rise in number of cases for diabetic retinopathy. There was rise of 38% from year 2001 to 2015. Also there is progressive increase in number of patients suffering from blindness due to diabetes.
People with diabetes are at risk of getting diabetic retinopathy. Risk can be minimized by controlling blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol.