Diabetic Retinopathy Tina Duke Salazar Sandy Haney Sharon Grissom
Early detection, education, and research are the keys to preventing diabetic retinopathy.
Skilled professionals, such as TVI, are the keys to helping students live well while coping with this disease.
Facts About Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetes is the major cause of blindness in adults ages 20-74.
Diabetic Retinopathy is the largest example of diabetic eye disease.
Up to 24,000 Americans lose their sight yearly due to diabetic retinopathy.
Anyone with diabetes is at risk of diabetic retinopathy.
Approximately 45% of diabetic Americans have diabetic retinopathy.
Four Stages of Diabetic Retinopathy
1. Mild Nonproliferative Retinopathy
2. Moderate Nonproliferative Retinopathy
3. Severe Nonproliferative Retinopathy
4. Proliferative Retinopathy
(National Eye Institute, 2006)
Mild Nonproliferative Retinopathy
Microaneurysms are the first occurrences of diabetic retinopathy. This happens when the tiny blood vessels of the retina begin to swell.
Moderate Nonproliferative Retinopathy
Moderate---This is a progressive eye disease and damage to the blood vessels grows. The blood vessels become blocked.
Severe Nonproliferative Retinopathy
Severe---Blood supply is blocked causing the eye to signal the need for new blood vessels. Parts of the retina are deprived of blood and nourishment.
Proliferative---The retina sends signals so new blood vessels are created. These blood vessels are abnormal and more likely to hemorrhage due to the thin walls of the vessel. The walls of these vessels are weak and soon begin to hemorrhage.
Diabetic Retinopathy is caused when chronic high blood sugar damages the small blood vessels nourishing the retina. This will eventually affect both eyes . (National Eye Institute 2003)
In the latest stage of diabetic retinopathy, vision loss is characterized by blurriness, spots, and sometimes blindness. (National Eye Institute, 2003)
Difficulty with fine details
Seeing rippled images
Blurred, hazy or double vision
Some loss of field vision
Difficulty seeing at night or in low light
Sensitivity to light or glare
Trouble focusing images
It is NOT inevitable. Diabetic Retinopathy has few symptoms but can be treated if diagnosed early.
Controlling blood sugar
Laser photocoagulation---laser beams seal vessels and stop new blood vessel growth
Vitrectomy---removes blood and scar tissue to allow light refraction
(Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, 2007)
The National Eye Institute is conducting research with hopeful drugs that may stop the retina from sending alarm signals to promote new vessel growth.
Burling-Phillips, L. (2007). Diabetic retinopathy: covering the bases. American Academy of Opthalmology. Retrieved July 16, 2007, from http://www.aao.org/publications/eyenet/200605/retina. Chous, A. (2006). What is diabetic eye disease? Retrieved July 16, 2007, from http://www. diabeticeyes .com
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International. (2007).
Eye disease/diabetic retinopathy . Retrieved July 15, 2007, from http://www.jdrf.org/index.cfm?page_id=106412
National Eye Institute.(2006) . Diabetic Retinopathy. Retrieved July 15, 2007, from http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/diabetic/retinopathy.asp