Diabetic retinopathy is a common complication of diabetes that affects the eyes. It is caused by damage to the blood vessels in the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. In this blog post, we will explore the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for diabetic retinopathy in London.
Causes of Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is caused by high blood sugar levels that damage the blood vessels in the retina. Over time, this damage can lead to leaking blood vessels, abnormal blood vessel growth, and scarring of the retina. The longer a person has diabetes and the less well-controlled their blood sugar levels are, the greater their risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.
Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy
In the early stages, diabetic retinopathy may not cause any noticeable symptoms. As the condition progresses, symptoms may include:
- Blurred vision
- Dark or empty areas in the vision
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Changes in color vision
If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can lead to permanent vision loss.
Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy
The treatment of diabetic retinopathy in London depends on the severity of the condition. In the early stages, managing blood sugar levels and blood pressure can help to slow the progression of the condition.
In more advanced cases, treatment may be necessary to prevent further damage to the retina. The two main treatment options are laser treatment and injections.
Laser treatment, also known as photocoagulation, is a common treatment for diabetic retinopathy. It involves using a laser to seal off leaking blood vessels and to prevent the growth of new abnormal blood vessels.
Your surgeon will usually perform the procedure on an outpatient basis. Therefore, you will not require a hospital stay. Patients may experience some discomfort during the procedure, but this is usually mild. You can use painkillers to manage the pain too.
Injections of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) medications are another treatment option for diabetic retinopathy. These medications help to reduce the growth of abnormal blood vessels and to decrease the leakage of fluid into the retina.
The injections are usually given on an outpatient basis and can be performed in a clinic or hospital setting. Patients may experience some discomfort during the injection, but this is usually short-lived and can be managed with painkillers.
Preventing Diabetic Retinopathy
The best way to prevent diabetic retinopathy is to manage blood sugar levels and blood pressure. This includes:
- Following a healthy diet
- Engaging in regular physical activity
- Taking medications as prescribed
- Monitoring blood sugar levels regularly
- Attending regular eye exams
Regular eye exams are an important part of preventing diabetic retinopathy. During an eye exam, an ophthalmologist can detect early signs of the condition and provide treatment before it progresses.
Appointments for Diabetic Retinopathy in London
Diabetic retinopathy is a serious complication of diabetes that can lead to permanent vision loss if left untreated. Managing blood sugar levels and blood pressure is key to preventing the condition. Early detection and treatment are essential for preserving vision. If you are experiencing any symptoms of diabetic retinopathy in London, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Book an appointment with Miss Grabowska today to discuss your condition.