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➔ Diabetic Retinopathy


What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
India stands to become largest diabetic population by 2010.Population of diabetic patients in India is 34 million acording to various sources. A person with diabetes is at risk for developing diabetic retinopathy among other ophthalmic disorders. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in young and middle-aged adults today. The longer a person has diabetes, the greater their chance of developing diabetic retinopathy. There are two types of diabetic retinopathy:

➔ Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (NPDR)
➔ Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (PDR)

NPDR, also known as background retinopathy, is an early stage of diabetic retinopathy and occurs when the tiny blood vessels of the retina are damaged and begin to bleed or leak fluid into the retina resulting in swelling (diabetic macular edema) and the formation of deposits known as exudates. Many people with diabetes develop mild NPDR often without any visual symptoms

PDR carries the greatest risk of loss of vision and typically develops in eyes with advanced NPDR. PDR occurs when small blood vessels on the retina or optic nerve become blocked consequently starving the retina of necessary nutrients. In response, the retina grows more blood vessels (neovascularization). Unfortunately these new vessels are abnormal and cannot replenish the retina with normal blood flow. 

How is diabetic retinopathy diagnosed ?
Diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed by dilating the pupil and looking inside the eye with an ophthalmoscope. If an ophthalmologist discovers diabetic retinopathy, he or she may wish to order color photographs of the retina through a test called fluorescein angiography. During this test, a dye is injected into the arm and quickly travels throughout the blood system. Once the dye reaches the blood vessels of the retina, a photograph is taken of the eye. The dye allows the ophthalmologist to detect damaged blood vessels that are leaking dye.

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