Diabetic retinopathy is a diabetes complication that affects eyes. Diabetic retinopathy is the result of damage to the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina. They leak blood and other fluids that cause swelling of retinal tissue and clouding of vision. The condition usually affects both eyes. People with untreated diabetes are 25 times more at risk for blindness than the general population. As per the statistical analysis, 629.900 Swiss adults have diabetes, i.e., 11,3% of the total population. Among them 52% of the people with diabetes suffer from retinopathy, which may lead to blindness.
The longer a person has had diabetes, the higher the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy can cause vision loss in two ways: Macular edema is a condition where your retinal blood vessels develop tiny leaks; Proliferative retinopathy refers to the changes that occur when new, abnormal blood vessels begin to grow on the surface of your retina. This abnormal growth is called neovascularization. The symptoms of Diabetic retinopathy include blurred vision, sudden loss of vision in one eye, seeing rings around lights, dark spots or flashing lights. Treatment of diabetic retinopathy varies depending on the extent of the disease. It may require laser surgery to seal leaking blood vessels or to discourage new leaky blood vessels from forming.
Treatment options include Anti-VEGF therapy involves the injection of the medication (Avastin and Eylea) into the back of your eye. Intraocular steroid injection is a treatment for diabetic macular edema. This therapy helps reduce the amount of fluid leaking into your retina, resulting in visual improvement. Laser surgery is often helpful in treating diabetic retinopathy. To reduce macular edema, a laser is focused on the damaged retina to seal leaking retinal vessels. For abnormal blood vessel growth (neovascularization), the laser treatments are delivered over the peripheral retina. Laser surgery can greatly reduce the chance of severe visual impairment. Vitrectomy may be recommended in advanced proliferative diabetic retinopathy. During this microsurgical procedure, the blood-filled vitreous is removed and replaced with a clear solution.
Researchers funded in part by the National Eye Institute (NEI) have identified a protein involved in an advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy, a diabetic eye disease that threatens vision. The discovery may help explain why current treatments don?t help all patients and suggests a novel approach for research into therapies. In an NIH-supported clinical trial comparing three drugs for diabetic macular edema (DME), Eylea (aflibercept) provided greater visual improvement, on average, than did Avastin (bevacizumab) or Lucentis (ranibizumab) when vision was 20/50 or worse at the start of the trial. The Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) study was a landmark clinical trial that included 10,251 adults with type 2 diabetes who were at especially high risk for heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular death. The main ACCORD findings showed that fibrate treatment added to statin therapy is safe for patients like those involved in the study. However, intensive blood sugar control to near normal glucose levels increased the risk of death and severe low blood sugar, so patients and their doctors must take these potential risks into account when implementing a diabetes treatment plan.