Diabetic retinopathy is a condition caused by diabetes mellitus where blood vessels of the retina are harmed due to the high blood glucose level. Such damage to the blood vessels of the retina can cause scarring of the retina, abnormal bleeding, swelling of the retina (macular oedema) and poor blood flow to the retina. Diabetic Retinopathy is more likely to develop in those patients who have not controlled their diabetes very well. The longer the patient has diabetes, the more likely they are to develop diabetic retinopathy.
If the patient is diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, further investigations such as fluorescein angiography or an OCT scan to evaluate the severity of the condition. These tests are done to identify areas of macular oedema, ischemia and neovascularisation. From here the appropriate treatments can be applied.
Symptoms for blurry visions or floaters only emerge long after diabetic retinopathy has developed; therefore regular eye examinations are important. Early detection and treatment before the retina is severely damaged is the most effective in decreasing the visual loss from diabetic retinopathy.
Intravitreal therapy such as Eylea, Avastin, Lucentis, and Triamcinolone may be necessary to treat macular oedema as well as new vessels in diabetic retinopathy.