Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

Updated at: Jan 06, 2012
Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

Advanced form of non proliferative diabetic retinopathy can eventually lead to an even more serious proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

Pratima Sharma
DiabetesWritten by: Pratima SharmaPublished at: Jan 05, 2012

Diabetes when not managed adequately can cause progressive loss of eyesight. The most common form of diabetes related vision disorder is non proliferative diabetic retinopathy. When this illness progresses to more serious forms, it is known as proliferative diabetic retinopathy. This is the phase where proliferation or growth of blood vessels takes place. The shortage of oxygen in the retinal space will trigger the growth of weak and fragile blood vessels that will grow along the retina. If not treated in time, these vessels will eventually bleed causing clouded vision and can also destroy the retina with time. Hence, it needs to be controlled and managed effectively.

Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

  1. Advanced form of non proliferative diabetic retinopathy can eventually lead to an even more serious proliferative diabetic retinopathy. The most dangerous part perhaps is that, even in its most advanced stages, non proliferative diabetic retinopathy will remain largely asymptomatic. Therefore, the only way to detect abnormality is through periodic checkups. It will be extremely important for diabetics to resort to regular follow ups for timely detection. Prompt treatments will be essentially warranted for effective management.
  2. Once the illness develops, non proliferative diabetic retinopathy will show up in the form of cotton wool such as spots or retinal hemorrhages of superficial nature. Micro vascular abnormalities may also be present.
  3. In the earlier stages of the illness, the wool like spots will come and go, providing intermittent relief to the patient. As the disease progresses, the outcome may be extremely serious in which the patient may not be able to distinguish darkness from light.
  4. The various forms of diabetic retinopathy will be distinguished with the help of a series of tests to be carried out by a registered ophthalmologist or optometrist. They will typically perform programs for retinal screening, an ophthalmoscopy, a visual acuity test and an OCT or optical coherence tomography.
  5. The prognosis of diabetic retinopathy is pretty bright, provided adequate treatments are administered at the right time. Three of the most prominent treatments that provide successful results and prevent complete loss of vision include virtrectomy, laser surgery and injecting triamcinolone inside the eye. These treatments, however, cannot be considered as apt cure/s for the disease. They are simply performed to limit the illness and prevent intensification.

Proliferative diabetic retinopathy, may eventually lead to complete blindness. Make sure that you consult your doctor periodically and stick to therapeutic and preventive measures described.


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