Diabetes is a fairly common disease that hits every 1 in 10 US citizens, and about 1 in 5 do not have any idea that they have it. This condition is characterized and diagnosed with the help of checking sugar levels in the blood. High levels often result in changes in the foot; however, another common issue it creates is retina damage. Let’s look closely at the 4 stages of retinopathy that a diabetic person goes through.
Retinopathy in Diabetic Patients
The risk lingers in both types of diabetes, be it 1 or 2. However, one can minimize the damage if the retinopathy is caught in the early stages in the diabetic patient.
Retinopathy signifies the disease of the retina. There are different types of this condition/disease, but all of them involve dying or diminishing of the small retinal blood vessels. Vision issues with diabetic retinopathy in all stages are a given, and signs can be seen through the pupil with an ophthalmoscope.
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of vision loss in people aged 25-74 worldwide.
4 Stages of Diabetic Retinopathy
The cycle starts from baseline, which is the Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR), and then gains severity.
NPDR – mild
In one of the mild stages of diabetic retinopathy, patients will go through swelling in some eye regions. The growth is quite balloon-like in the retina’s blood vessels and is called microaneurysms.
This stage does not cause much trouble or need treatment. However, serves as a marker for diabetes-related damage is there with a risk of progression that can decrease vision.
The treatment at this stage for diabetic retinopathy does not include anything other than education on the possible effects of diabetes along with modification of diet to keep the sugar levels in blood under control.
NPDR – Moderate
Visible damage marks the beginning of the second diabetic retinopathy stage. One will experience blood and fluid leaking into the retinal tissue, which can potentially cause a loss of vision.
Fundus photography lets the patients get a quick evaluation and feedback. Changes in life style, and better control of blood sugar can help in potentially improving your eyesight.
NPDR – Severe
In case of a missed diagnosis or reckless control, your diabetes can cause blood vessels to block with the extensive leak of blood and fluids into the retina. This results in a greater impact on vision.
If you reach the last stages of retinopathy, being a diabetic, you will need a timely referral to an eye specialist. The best part is that mostly vision loss is reversible and can be remarkably improved with appropriate treatment.
Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy
This is the final stage of diabetic retinopathy. Now, the disease has advanced enough and extremely threatening to one’s vision. The damage to the eyes’ blood vessels results in poor circulation inside.
However, still, as a coping mechanism, the retina then grows new blood vessels, but they turn out abnormal. This becomes the reason for severe damage, which possibly results in vision loss and potential blindness in the patient.
Still There Is Hope
Detecting diabetic retinopathy in its early stages by health care providers can help patients for better control of their blood sugar levels and slow the progression of vision loss. You can contact the most competent physicians in Tomball, Texas, from Family Diagnostic Clinic.