Why diabetes can cause vision problems?
This is a question that often comes up in the head of patients and their families. Actually, what is the relationship between diabetes which attacks blood sugar and our sense of vision? The following is an explanation from Prof. dr. Arief S Kartasasmita, SpM (K), Phd, who attended the briefing media.
Every human being has a retina, which is located at the back of the eye. The retina is responsible for capturing light and transmitting it to the brain. That way we can look around.
However, in diabetic retinopathy patients, there is leakage of blood vessels around the eyes due to high blood sugar. This causes the initially healthy retina to become damaged. The bleeding that occurs will reduce the patient's ability to see.
There are three stages or stages of complications of diabetic retinopathy described by Prof. Arief. Everything begins with the non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) stage and ends in diabetic macular edema (DME).
The first is the NPDR. Often there are no significant symptoms shown at this stage. However, it should be noted that damage and bleeding of blood vessels begins at the NPDR stage.
Next is proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). Bleeding gets bigger and irritates the retina. This is indicated by the appearance of black dots on the patient's vision.
Lastly is the DME stadium. At this stage, fluid accumulates in the macula of the retina due to leaking blood vessels. Not only black dots, the patient will also have difficulty seeing because the vision becomes blurry or even completely dark.
Diabetic retinopathy is usually triggered by several risk factors. The following include:
- Duration of having diabetes;
- Control carried out against diabetes;
- High cholesterol;
- Reluctant to seek treatment.
Diabetic retinopathy is not a problem that threatens a person's safety. However, this condition can still endanger the patient's vision if not treated properly.
Although diabetic retinopathy threatens vision, this problem can be alleviated and even cured when it's not too late. Here are some common treatments:
- Laser therapy to reduce the risk of retinal damage;
- Anti VEGF injection which is injected directly into the patient's eye;
- Surgery for more severe cases.
This can be done by controlling sugar intake, reducing foods that are fatty, high in salt, and increasing consumption of vegetables and fruits. It is also important to balance it with regular exercise.