1. Diabetic retinopathy - Damage to the blood vessels in the retina.
2. Cataractclouding of the eye's lens.
3. Glaucomaincrease in fluid pressure inside the eye that leads to optic nerve damage and loss of vision. A person with diabetes is nearly twice as likely to get glaucoma as other adults.
|Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in American adults. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina.|
The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. A healthy retina is necessary for good vision. If you have diabetic retinopathy, at first you may not notice changes to your vision. But over time, diabetic retinopathy can get worse and cause vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes. Blood vessels damaged from diabetic retinopathy can cause vision loss in two ways:
1. Fragile, abnormal blood vessels can develop and leak blood into the center of the eye, blurring vision. This is proliferative retinopathy
2. Fluid can leak into the center of the macula, the part of the eye where sharp, straight-ahead vision occurs. The fluid makes the macula swell, blurring vision. This condition is called macular edema.
|Who Is At Risk For Diabetic Retinopathy? ( Risk For Diabetic Retinopathy )|
|All people with diabetes--both type 1 and type 2--are at risk. That's why everyone with diabetes should get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. The longer someone has diabetes, the more likely he or she will get diabetic retinopathy. If you have diabetic retinopathy, your doctor can recommend treatment to help prevent its progression.|
|What Can I Do To Protect My Vision? ( To Protect Vision? )|
|If you have diabetes get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year and remember:|
|Proliferative retinopathy can develop without symptoms. At this advanced stage, you are at high risk for vision loss. Macular edema can develop without symptoms at any stage of diabetic retinopathy. You can develop both proliferative retinopathy and macular edema and still see fine. However, you are at high risk for vision loss. Your eye care professional can tell if you have macular edema or any stage of diabetic retinopathy. Whether or not you have symptoms, early detection and timely treatment can prevent vision loss. The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) showed that better control of blood sugar levels slows the onset and progression of retinopathy. The people with diabetes who kept their blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible also had much less kidney and nerve disease. Better control also reduces the need for sight-saving laser surgery. controlling elevated blood pressure and cholesterol can reduce the risk of vision loss. Controlling these will help your overall health as well as help protect your vision.|
|Does Diabetic Retinopathy Have Any Symptoms? (Symptoms And Detection)|
|Treatment How Is Diabetic Retinopathy Treated?|
Proliferative retinopathy is treated with laser surgery. This procedure is called scatter laser treatment. Scatter laser treatment helps to shrink the abnormal blood vessels. Your doctor places 1,000 to 2,000 laser burns in the areas of the retina away from the macula, causing the abnormal blood vessels to shrink. Because a high number of laser burns are necessary, two or more sessions usually are required to complete treatment. Although you may notice some loss of your side vision, scatter laser treatment can save the rest of your sight. Scatter laser treatment may slightly reduce your color vision and night vision.
Are scatter laser treatment and vitrectomy effective in treating proliferative retinopathy?
The retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the inside of the eye and sends visual Messages through the optic nerve to the brain. When the retina detaches, it is lifted or pulled from its normal position. If not promptly treated, Retinal Detachment can cause permanent vision loss.
In some cases there may be small areas of the retina that are torn. These areas, called retinal tears or retinal breaks, can lead to retinal detachment. A tear or break in the retina allows fluid to get under the retina and separate it from the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), the pigmented cell layer that nourishes the retina. These types of retinal detachments are the most common.
|Who Is At Risk For Retinal Detachment? (Causes And Risk Factors )|
|A retinal detachment can occur at any age, but it is more common in people over age 40. It affects men more than women, and Whites more than African Americans. |
A retinal detachment is also more likely to occur in people who:
|What Are The Symptoms Of Retinal Detachment? (Symptoms And Detection)|
|Symptoms include a sudden or gradual increase in either the number of floaters, which are little "cobwebs" or specks that float about in your field of vision, and/or light flashes in the eye. Another symptom is the appearance of a curtain over the field of vision. A retinal detachment is a medical emergency. Anyone experiencing the symptoms of a retinal detachment should see an eye care professional immediately.|
|How Is Retinal Detachment Treated?|
Small holes and tears are treated with laser surgery or a freeze treatment called cryopexy. These procedures are usually performed in the doctor's office. During laser surgery tiny burns are made around the hole to "weld" the retina back into place. Cryopexy freezes the area around the hole and helps reattach the retina.
|What Research Is Being Done? (Current Research)|
|The NEI supported The Silicone Study, a nationwide clinical trial that compared the use of silicone oil with long-acting intraocular gas for repairing a retinal detachment caused by proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR). With PVR, cells grow on the surface of the retina causing it to detach. This is a serious complication that sometimes follows retinal detachment surgery and is difficult to treat. The results indicate that both treatments are effective and give the surgeons more options for treating these difficult cases.|
|Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease associated with aging that gradually destroys sharp, central vision. Central vision is needed for seeing objects clearly and for common daily tasks such as reading and driving. AMD affects the macula, the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail. AMD causes no pain. In some cases, AMD advances so slowly that people notice little change in their vision. In others, the disease progresses faster and may lead to a loss of vision in both eyes. AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 years of age and older. The macula is located in the center of the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. The retina instantly converts light, or an image, into electrical impulses. The retina then sends these impulses, or nerve signals, to the brain.|
|AMD Occurs In Two Forms: Wet And Dry.|
|1.Wet AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels behind the retina start to grow under the macula. These new blood vessels tend to be very fragile and often leak blood and fluid. The blood and fluid raise the macula from its normal place at the back of the eye. Damage to the macula occurs rapidly. With wet AMD, loss o f central vision can occur quickly. An early symptom of wet AMD is that straight lines appear wavy. If you notice this condition or other changes to your vision, contact your eye care professional at once. You need a comprehensive dilated eye exam.|
|2. Dry AMD occurs when the light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly break down, gradually blurring central vision in the affected eye. As dry AMD gets worse, you may see a blurred spot in the center of your vision. Over time, as less of the macula functions, central vision is gradually lost in the affected eye. The most common symptom of dry AMD is slightly blurred vision. You may have difficulty recognizing faces. You may need more light for reading and other tasks. Dry AMD generally affects both eyes, but vision can be lost in one eye while the other eye seems unaffected. If you have vision loss from dry AMD in one eye only, you may not notice any changes in your overall vision. With the other eye seeing clearly, you still can drive, read, and see fine details. You may notice changes in your vision only if AMD affects both eyes. If blurriness occurs in your vision, see an eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam. Ninety percent of all people with AMD have this type. Scientists are still not sure what causes dry AMD.|
|Risk For AMD And Reducing Your Risk Of Developing AMD (Causes And Risk Factors)|
|The greatest risk factor is age. Although AMD may occur during middle age, studies show that people over age 60 are clearly at greater risk than other age groups.|
Other risk factors include:
|How Is Wet AMD And Dry AMD Is Treated? Treatment)|
|Wet AMD can be treated with laser surgery, photodynamic therapy, and injections into the eye. None of these treatments is a cure for wet AMD. The disease and loss of vision may progress despite treatment.|
|1. Photodynamic therapy - A drug called verteporfin is injected into your arm. Photodynamic therapy slows the rate of vision loss. It does not stop vision loss or restore vision in eyes already damaged by advanced AMD. Treatment results often are temporary. You may need to be treated again.
2. Injections - Wet AMD can now be treated with new drugs that are injected into the eye (anti-VEGF therapy). You will need multiple injections that may be given as often as monthly.
Dry AMD reaches the advanced stage, no form of treatment can prevent vision loss. However, treatment can delay and possibly prevent intermediate AMD from progressing to the advanced stage, in which vision loss occurs. The National Eye Institute's Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) found that taking a specific high-dose formulation of antioxidants and zinc significantly reduces the risk of advanced AMD and its associated vision loss. Slowing AMD's progression from the intermediate stage to the advanced stage will save the vision of many people.
|Can diet alone provide the same high levels of antioxidants and zinc as the AREDS formulation?|
|No. The high levels of vitamins and minerals are difficult to achieve from diet alone. However, previous studies have suggested that people who have diets rich in green leafy vegetables have a lower risk of developing AMD.|
|Can a daily multivitamin alone provide the same high levels of antioxidants and zinc as the AREDS formulation?|
|No. The formulation's levels of antioxidants and zinc are considerably higher than the amounts in any daily multivitamin.|
|How can I take care of my vision now that I have AMD?|
|Dry AMD. If you have dry AMD, you should have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. Your eye care professional can monitor your condition and check for other eye diseases. your doctor may suggest that you take the AREDS formulation containing the high levels of antioxidants and zinc. Because dry AMD can turn into wet AMD at any time, you should get an Amsler grid from your eye care professional.|
|What Research Is Being Done? (Current Research )|
|The National Eye Institute is conducting and supporting a number of studies to learn more about AMD. For example, scientists are:
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