Diabetic Retinopathy:A complication of Diabetes Mellitus


Diabetes Mellitus present arrays of complications due to depletion of insulin for youth in their productive year, this manifest as Diabetic retinopathy which is the leading cause of blindness in United States.

The sufferer’s blood vessels of light-sensitive part of the eye is damaged, worldwide one-third of the estimated 285 million people with Diabetes show signs of Diabetic Retinopathy.


Symptoms of DR

Most time it’s not obvious or mild,however watch out for the following symptoms :

1. Floaters (spots floating in your vision)

2. Blurred vision

3. Fluctuating vision

4.impaired colour vision

5.vision loss

DR affects both eye and if you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms, you need to see a doctor to treat Diabetes Mellitus (DM)


Causes of Diabetic Retinopathy

Mostly too much sugar blocks tiny blood vessels in the retina disabling blood supply. The eye try to build me blood vessels (neovascularization)which doesn’t develop properly and eventually leak.


Types of DR

There are two known types of Diabetic Retinopathy, and they include:

1. Early DR:Non-proliferative DR;new blood vessels are not growing in the eye after blockage and it presents the following symptoms

  • Weakened retinal wall
  • Irregular retinal vessels
  • Swelling of nerve fibres in retina
  • Tiny bulges protrude from the vessels wall
  • Swelling of retina (macular Oedema)


2. Advanced DR:

growth in the new blood vessels of the retina is obvious but it leaks into the vitreous body.this leads to formation of scar which can lead to retinal detachment, pressure can also build in the eye, damaging the optic nerve known as Glaucoma eventually leading to blindness.

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Risk factors of Diabetic Retinopathy include:

There might be complications such as vitreous damage, retinal detachment, Glaucoma and blindness.


Management and prevention

  • Monitor your blood sugar level
  • Quit smoking
  • Keep blood pressure and cholesterol under control
  • People with Diabetes Mellitus should check their vision at least once annually to rule out Diabetic Retinopathy.


Diagnosis of DR is by an ophthalmologist or eye specialist making use of the following diagnosis methods:

I. Dilated eye exam;Dilate pupil to see the back of the eye

II.fluorescein angiography

III.OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography);similar to ultrasound testing but uses light instead of sound to produce the scan of the eye.

IV.focal laser treatment or photocoagulation

V. Scatter laser treatment or pan-retinal photocoagulation

Surgery is not a cure for Diabetic Retinopathy but it may stop or slow the progression of the symptom.



You need to quit taking excess sugar as it can predispose you to Diabetes leading to complications such as DR,it is one of the leading cause of blindness hence you shouldn’t ignore blurry vision and other symptoms associated with the disease.remember health is wealth.

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