Diabetic Retinopathy: What all you should know

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What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetes can cause diabetic retinopathy, an eye condition that can impair vision and even blindness. Blood vessels in the retina are affected (the light-sensitive layer of tissue in the back of your eye).

If you have diabetes, it's critical to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam performed at least once a year. Even while diabetic retinopathy may not at first show any symptoms, spotting it early may allow you to take preventative measures to protect your eyesight.

You can prevent or delay vision loss by controlling your diabetes by staying active, eating well, and taking your medications.

Diabetic Retinopathy – Goyal Eye
Anshul Goyal

Meet our Expert

“All diabetics must consider retinopathy seriously, and should religiously get themselves examined by a retina specialist at least once in 6 months as long as they have not developed any evidence of diabetic retinopathy and more frequently thereafter.

Vision loss due to diabetic retinopathy should be termed as Unfortunate Blindness, as it could have been saved in a majority of cases. Awareness of this disease has definitely improved since the past, but we still have a long way to go in managing this potentially blinding disorder. Scientific advances and the use of latest equipment at GEI, has helped several diabetics in maintain good vision for long term and prevent visual loss.”

Dr. Anshul Goyal

Cataract and Retina Surgeon (CEO)

Diabetic Retinopathy Symptoms – Goyal Eye

Diabetic Retinopathy Symptoms

There are typically no symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. Some individuals get visual problems, which can make it difficult for them to read or see faraway things. These adjustments could come and go.

Blood vessels in the retina begin to bleed into the retinal in later stages of the disease (gel-like fluid that fills your eye). If this occurs, you might notice cobweb-like black, floaty areas or streaks. Even while the spots occasionally disappear on their own, it's still important to get medical help as soon as possible. If the condition is not treated, scarring could form in the back of the eye. Additionally, blood vessels may start to bleed once again or the bleeding may worsen.

Causes of Diabetic Retinopathy

Over time, having too much sugar in your blood can cause the minuscule blood capillaries that feed the retina to become blocked, severing the retina's blood supply. As a result, the eye makes an effort to produce new blood vessels. These new blood vessels don't develop properly, and they are quite likely to leak.

Diabetic retinopathy comes in two different forms:

Early Diabetic Retinopathy

Nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR), the more prevalent variant, is characterised by the absence of new blood vessel development (proliferating). When you have NPDR, the retinal blood vessel walls degenerate. Sometimes, tiny protrusions from the walls of the smaller arteries might leak fluid and blood into the retina. Larger retinal vessels' diameters may also begin to grow and alter. When more blood vessels are clogged, NPDR can deteriorate and progress from mild to severe. When retinal blood vessels are damaged, there may occasionally be an accumulation of fluid (edema) in the macular area of the retina. If macular edoema compromises vision, treatment is required to avoid irreversible vision loss.

Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

Is an advanced form of diabetic retinopathy that is more severe. As damaged blood vessels close off, this type causes the creation of new, abnormal blood vessels in the retina. Because these new blood vessels are weak, the clear, jelly-like fluid that fills the centre of your eye may leak (vitreous). Scar tissue created by the growth of new blood vessels may eventually cause the retina to split from the back of your eye. If the new blood vessels prevent the normal drainage of fluid from the eye, the eyeball may become pressurised. When this buildup damages the optic nerve, which transmits images from your eye to your brain, glaucoma may follow.

Risk factors of Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes can cause diabetic retinopathy in anyone with the disease. The following factors can raise the chance of developing the eye condition:

  • Enduring long-term diabetes
  • Ineffective blood sugar management
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
Risk factors of Diabetic Retinopathy

Is diabetic retinopathy a concern for one?

Diabetic retinopathy can affect persons with any kind of diabetes, including type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (a type of diabetes that can develop during pregnancy).

Diabetes increases your risk the longer you have it. Over time, more than half of those with diabetes will develop diabetic retinopathy. The good news is that by managing your diabetes, you can reduce your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetes-afflicted women who get pregnant or develop gestational diabetes are at a higher risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. If you have diabetes and are expecting, get a comprehensive dilated eye exam right away. If you think you'll need more eye exams while you're pregnant, ask your doctor.

Complications of diabetic retinopathy

A side effect of diabetic retinopathy is the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the retina. Serious vision problems could arise from complications:

Vitreous haemorrhage:

The clear, jelly-like fluid that fills the centre of your eye may leak from the new blood vessels. If there is little bleeding, you could just notice a few dark dots (floaters). Blood can fill the vitreous cavity in more severe situations, completely obstructing your vision. A vitreous haemorrhage usually does not cause irreversible vision loss. The blood normally leaves the eye within a few weeks or months. If your retina wasn't injured, your vision should have recovered to its normal clarity.

Retinal detachment:

The abnormal blood vessels linked to diabetic retinopathy promote the development of scar tissue, which may cause the retina to pull away from the back of the eye. Bright flashes, floating dots in your field of vision, or severe vision loss could result from this.


As new blood vessels develop in the iris, the front portion of the eye, they may obstruct the fluid's usual passage out of the eye, increasing pressure inside the eye.This pressure may damage the nerve that transmits images from your eye to your brain (optic nerve).


Complete vision loss can result from diabetic retinopathy, macular edema, glaucoma, or a combination of these illnesses, particularly if the conditions are not properly managed.

Prevention of Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is not always preventable. Regular eye checkups, healthy blood sugar and blood pressure management, and early vision problem resolution, however, can help prevent serious vision loss.

If you have diabetes, do the following steps to lower your chance of developing diabetic retinopathy:

Make exercising and eating well a part of your everyday regimen. Get at least 150 minutes each week of moderate aerobic exercise, such as walking. As prescribed, consume insulin or oral diabetic medicines.
If you're sick or stressed, you may need to check and record your blood sugar levels more frequently than once a day. Ask your doctor how frequently you should check your blood sugar levels.
The haemoglobin A1C test, also known as the glycosylated haemoglobin test, measures your average blood sugar level throughout the two to three months prior to the test. For most people with diabetes, the A1C goal is to be under 7%.
Smoking raises your chance of developing several diabetes problems, including diabetic retinopathy.
If your eyesight suddenly changes or becomes blurry, spotty or hazy, call your eye doctor straight away.
Always keep in mind that diabetes does not always cause visual loss. Complications from diabetes can be greatly reduced by actively managing the condition.
by eating well, working out frequently, and decreasing excess weight. Sometimes, medication is also required.
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Meet our Team

Dr. Anshul Goyal CEO Cataract and Retina Surgeon

Dr. Ritin Goyal Director Cataract and Cornea Surgeon

Dr. Pawan Goyal Chairman Cataract and LASIK Surgeon

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