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Who is at risk of Diabetic Retinopathy?

Updated at: Jul 09, 2014
Written by: Vasudha BhatPublished at: Jul 09, 2014
Who is at risk of Diabetic Retinopathy?

People who suffer from diabetes for a prolonged period are at a very high risk of suffering from diabetic retinopathy. Usage of tobacco and high blood pressure adds to the risk of suffering from the disorder.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is condition of eyes which takes place as a result of diabetes. It occurs due to damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue placed at the back of the eye (retina).
Initially, diabetic retinopathy causes shows no symptoms or may causes a mild vision trouble. However, this grows with time and can cause permanent blindness.

Diabetic Retinopathy Risks

What are the Symptoms?

It is not necessary that a person suffering from diabetic retinopathy notices the symptoms as the symptoms in the early stages do not become evident.
But, as the problem grows the following symptoms can be seen:

  • Spotting of dark strings floating before the vision
  • Blurriness of the vision
  • Fluctuation of vision
  • Dark or empty areas of the vision
  • Loss of vision
  • Difficulty to perceive colours

Diabetic Retinopathy Risks


What are the Causes?

The excessive quantity of sugar level in the blood can be harmful for the tiny blood vessels which provide nourishment to the retina. This damage may also block them completely. With increase in number of blocked blood vessels the blood supply to the retina gets eventually cutoff leading to vision loss. As a result of blocked blood supply, the eye tries to produce new blood vessels. However, these blood vessels before developing properly leak out easily. These leaking blood vessels can cause loss of vision.

Who is at Risk?

Diabetic retinopathy can be happen to anyone who suffers from diabetes. The factors which can increase the risk of diabetes are:

  • The longer the duration of diabetes, the higher is the risk of diabetic retinopathy.
  • Less control over blood sugar level
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Pregnancy
  • Use of tobacco

Image courtesyL: Getty Images

Read more on Diabetic Retinopathy.


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