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TIP of the Day

EYE DAMAGE (Retinopathy )

This is due to damage to the blood vessels of the retina.

In diabetics, eyes can be damaged even without any symptoms. It is thus important for you to visit your eye specialist at least once in a year and immediately if you notice any of the following Symptoms:

  • Blurred or diminished vision
  • Double Image
  • Pain in Eyes
  • Black spots or Floaters in front of eyes

Dos & Don'ts:

  • Wear goggles or safety glasses
  • Wear sunglasses on bright days
  • Keep your blood glucose & blood pressure under control
  • Avoid alcohol & smoking
  • Get fundus examination done every year
  • Don't rub your eyes.
  • Don't wear dirty contact lenses.
  • Always get your eyes checked-up before planning pregnancy and later during 1st trimester of pregnancy. Existing eye problem may worsen during pregnancy.
Common Eye Problems in Diabetic Patients are:

1. Cataract:

Lens of the eye becomes opaque (cloudy), resulting in decrease vision. In diabetics cataract occurs 2 times more commonly and at early age than normal people.

2. Retinopathy:

There is weakening and breaking of small blood vessels in the retina (screen) of the eye, resulting in decreased vision. It generally occurs after 10 yrs. of onset of diabetes and patient may not have any symptoms initially. 90% of Type1 and 60% of Type2 Diabetic patients have retinopathy after 20 yrs of onset of the diseases. Generally the disease is asymptomatic i.e. painless and initially vision also may be normal, thus proper screening is very important. Fundus examination must be done once in a year to recognize retinopathy at an early stage. LASER is the choice of treatment for retinopathy.

3. Glaucoma:

This is due to increase pressure of the liquids inside the eye leading due to decrease blood flow in the blood vessels of retina & optic nerve, resulting in decrease vision. Vision can't be restored once lost, hence early diagnosis & treatment is a must.

4. Infections:

These are very common and should always be treated urgently. Examples are stye, conjunctivitis etc.

Q. What are the types of Diabetic Retinopathy

A. There are 2 types of Diabetic Retinopathy as follows:
1. Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (NPDR).
2. Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (PDR).

In early diabetic retinopathy there are small dialations of the capillary walls in the retina which is called as microaneurysms. At this stage good control of diabetes and regular follow up examination of the retina is necessary. In the next stage, small haemorrhages, accumulation of fluid, cells and fat can occur. This is the warning stage and there is no specific treatment even in this stage. The point to be noted here is that sight will not decrease in these stages and so retinopathy can be detected only by routine fundus examination. In severe cases fluid can collect in the critical "seeing area" of the retina called Macula. Mild to moderate disturbances in the vision may be present. Laser photocoagulation can be done to bring down the fluid accumulation and prevent permanent damage to macula. In proliferative diabetic retinopathy, abnormal blood vessels develop in the retina, which are very weak and have a tendency to bleed. Once there is a bleed there will be sudden and sometimes total loss of sight. Once there is sight threatening retinopathy, a test called Fundus Fluorescein Angiography (FFA) and laser treatment should be done.Common queries regarding Diabetic Retinopathy

Q. How Laser treatment is beneficial for Diabetic Retinopathy?

High power Lasers are used to coagulate (clot) the bleeding blood vessels. Laser treatment prevents progression of diabetic retinopathy and deterioration of sight.

Q. How is Cataract (lens opacification) treated?

Cataract surgery is done by a technique called Phako-emulsification which should not be mistaken for laser.


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Sr. Diabetologist & Physician
Specialist in Life Style Diseases


Delhi Diabetes Care Centre
5/11791, Sat Nagar, Karol Bagh, New Delhi- 110005
Daily 12- 2 pm & 7-9 pm (Except Sunday)
Ph: 25730300, 25862685
Mobile : 9810956373
Delhi Heart & Lung Institute
3 MM-II, Panchkuin Road,
New Delhi -110055
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Ph: 42999999, 42999900