Diabetic retinopathy is, as its name suggests, a disease that affects the retina, which is an important part of the eye. The other part of the name suggests that this disease is in some way associated with diabetes.
What is diabetic retinopathy?
The retina is a part of the eye comprising of a layer of nerves at the back side of the eye. This is a very important part of the eye because, to put it simply, it is the part that actually enables seeing. It transforms light and images that enter the eye into actual nerve signals that are then sent off to the brain. Any problem to this part of the eye will definitely lead to some degree of sight problems, which can range from blurred or limited vision to complete blindness.
Diabetic retinopathy occurs due to long-term diabetes. People who have been diagnosed with diabetes early in life are often advised to see an ophthalmologist frequently in order to determine if there are problems to the retina associated with their condition.
What are the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy?
The symptoms of diabetic retinopathy vary from person to person. This condition is associated with diabetes and it usually occurs after a person has suffered from diabetes for some time. Problems and symptoms associated with diabetic retinopathy may be mistaken for some other condition, but the tell-tale sign of this particular condition is the weakening of the blood vessels in the eye. When the blood vessels in eyes become weak, they cause a number of problems, for example leakage of blood and fluids from the vessels into the eye. This can lead to blurred vision or partial or complete loss of vision.
As this happens gradually and over time, many people mistakenly believe that their sight is simply deteriorating due to aging.
Other symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include various changes in vision, for example the phenomenon of “floaters” or spots in the field of vision. There may also be some pain in the eye, which, in turn, can cause redness, irritation and watery eyes. The vision often becomes blurred and the sight noticeably worsens.
It is important to see a doctor as soon as any of these symptoms occur. It is necessary to inform the doctor of any other pre-existing condition, especially diabetes.
People who suffer from diabetes must make sure to take their medications exactly as they are prescribed and to have regular check-ups. Diabetes is a complicated disease and it affects the health in many ways, with diabetic retinopathy being just one of them.