Diabetic Retinopathy Stages and Treatment
Diabetic retinopathy stages are levels of damage to the retina that is resulted as one of the complications of diabetes. This damage usually affects people who have lived with diabetes for a long time, and 80% of people who have diabetes for more than a decade have been diagnosed with this disease. A higher level of this retinopathy could cause blindness, although 90% of people who are diagnosed with the disease were treated well enough that the damage is reduced.
Symptoms and Diabetic Retinopathy Stages
Diabetic retinopathy stages do not have clear diabetic retinopathy symptoms at early stages for a warning. Blurred vision could happen in general and it could get better or worse after some time. The bleeding of the blood vessel on the eyes as a result of this retinopathy would also cause floating spots that would hinder the person’s sight for a while and they might be gone in a few hours.
The hemorrhages could happen several times it usually occurs as the person sleeps. Each occurrence might be more severe than the previous ones and it would take months or even years to regain their visions after the retinopathy reaches higher stages.
In general, there are three diabetic retinopathy stages that develop progressively. The first one is microaneurysms. It is the earliest stage of the retinopathy, with the blood vessels developing bulging spots that sometimes leak blood and fluid into the surrounding area. There are no visible symptoms on this stage and usually people will not realize the abnormality.
The relatively tame microaneurysms could quickly develop into macular edema, though. This time the swelling is more severe and it moves the retina’s position so that the person would see blurred vision. If it affects the middle of the macula, loss of vision might happen.
Proliferative retinopathy is the highest of diabetic retinopathy stages. It is dangerous for one’s vision. New blood vessels appear on this stage and blindness might happen if there is hemorrhage into the vitreous humor near it. Although there is no exact standard yet about level of blood sugar that might lead to diabetic retinopathy, it is highly suspected that high level of cholesterol, triglycerides and high blood pressure might also have contributed to the loss of sight caused by diabetic retinopathy.
Treatments for Diabetic Retinopathy Stages
Luckily, there are various diabetic retinopathy treatments available today. The first one is a surgery using laser. This can cause damage in retinal tissue but its procedures are fast and it could fix the patient’s vision almost completely. An injection of Anti VEGF is also sometimes used as a treatment to the disease, although nowadays it is usually given as an oral medicine instead. Vitrectomy is a higher risk treatment and it is done by replacing the bloody vitreous with new saline solution.
All of these treatments could restore the visions of the patients regardless of the diabetic retinopathy stages they are in, but it will not cure the disease and the retinopathy might re-occur without proper care.