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Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a complication of diabetes mellitus, which leads to irreversible damage to the vessels of the retina (which plays a major role in ensuring vision).
DR can be asymptomatic for a long time, until significant damage to the retina appears. The first symptoms may appear in one eye or in both eyes at once.
Pay particular attention to:
In terms of importance, from most important to least significant:
Anyone with diabetes is a potential diabetic retinopathy patient. For self-control, perform the Amsler test regularly.
Stages of diabetic retinopathy
There are three stages, depending on the degree of retinal damage:
It is asymptomatic. When examining the fundus, one can see:
It may be asymptomatic. There is a deterioration in the quality of vision: blurred contours, double vision, the appearance of a spot in the field of vision, shadow around objects, difficulty in reading, impaired colour perception.
Most severe form. It manifests itself in the form of:
a) Neovascularization — newly formed vessels of the retina, optic nerve disc.
b) Macrobleeds (preretinal, subretinal, subhyaloid, hemophthalmos) — there is a sharp decrease in vision, loss of the visual field, a dark spot in front of the eye.
d) Traction retinal detachment
Diabetic macular edema
It can develop in all conditions. It is accompanied by a sharp decrease in vision, “curvature” of straight lines and distortion of objects. Revealed by optical coherence tomography.
Diabetic retinopathy treatment
Treatment depends on the stage.
The “gold standard” is panretinal laser coagulation of the retina. It is carried out for uncomplicated retinopathy in the preproliferative stage. Significantly reduces the risk of complications and permanent vision loss.
The patient is given intravitreal injections of anti-VEGF drugs and / or corticosteroids:
In complicated forms of proliferative retinopathy (neovascularization, hemophthalmia, retinal hemorrhages, traction retinal detachment), surgical treatment is performed — subtotal vitrectomy, removal of proliferative tissue, endolaser coagulation.
Remember: the development and outcome of the disease depends on the stage. Since DR has no obvious symptoms and appears only after irreversible changes in the fundus, it is necessary to undergo routine examinations by an ophthalmologist.
And patients with diabetes should have them at least once a year!