Despite the fact that modern medicine has made great progress, diabetes is still a serious disease often resulting in disability and even death. In 1922 insulin was discovered, and diabetes is no longer a disease that leads to death within a few months. But the increase in the length of life of diabetics confronted doctors with new challenges connected with complications.
One of the complications of diabetes which is very common is diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic retinopathy is eye retina vessels affection which is a characteristic for both insulin-dependent and insulin-independent diabetes. In modern ophthalmology there are three forms of diabetic retinopathy: nonproliferative, preproliferative and proliferative. Also, there is such a state as diabetic macular edema.
Nonproliferative (background) diabetic retinopathy is the first stage of the disease, which is characterized by increased fragility of small vessels in the retina and their blockage. At this stage, which can last for years, the patient does not notice vision loss.
Preproliferative diabetic retinopathy – is the second, more severe stage of the disease quickly turning into the latest, most dangerous – proliferative retinopathy which without appropriate care leads to irreversible blindness. Diabetic macular edema does not lead to blindness but induces an impairment in ability to read and distinguish small objects. As diabetic retinopathy, macular edema can take place at an early stage completely asymptomatically.
DR treatment at any stage – is quite a complicated process. Since the pathology has a secondary character. Firstly, it is necessary to monitor carefully the major disease and to control blood glucose level. Studies show that following all the recommendations of doctors and being attentive to his health, a person with diabetes can reduce the risk of proliferative diabetic retinopathy by 47%.
- Laser, at which the so-called "starving" retina is destroyed which serves as a source of growth of new blood vessels. Also is produced the thermal coagulation of formed blood vessels and an easy oxygen income into the retina. The procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis.
- Surgical treatment or vitrectomy. It is used for mass hemorrhages into the retina and for especially severe cases of proliferative DR. The essence of this eye surgery is that blood clots, fibrovascular bands on the surface of the retina, and opacified areas of the glasslike body are removed surgically.
- Conservative treatment or hemophthalmus. In this way of dealing with DR, the patient is recommended as much as possible to be in a sitting position with his eyes closed. In this case, happens the precipitation of blood elements into the lower parts of the eye after the completion of which can be administered laser treatment. As a rule, if hemophthalmus method does not help, a month later vitrectomy is performed.