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Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a condition that can be given in diabetic people. Sugar spoils the vessels of the retina. Then, blood and other liquids can pass to the retina through the vessels, swallowing and causing a blurred vision.

The longer that there is diabetes, the more chances of having diabetic retinopathy. The key is to have a very good control of sugar, making a balanced diet and regularly practicing a sporting activity.


In the initial stages there are no symptoms, so it is very important to make periodic reviews. In more advanced cases, there is a blurred vision, floats (objects that are observed outside, like shadows that are actually produced by cells in the interior of the eye), distortion and progressive loss of visual acuity.

There are two stages of pathology. The first is non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy. The walls of the small vessels of the retina are debilitated and microaneurisms are formed (they are like small spheres). Depending on the severity, it can be found small hemorrhages, lipid exudates, venous rosaries and edema in the macula. Anoxia (lack of oxygen) occurs in a prolonged periods. The tissues react by creating new vessels to nourish it. The problem is that they are very fragile and bleed easily, producing bleeding. This whole picture can be complicated by the formation of scar tissue, which can cause retinal detachment by traction. Also, glaucoma may occur (increase in pressure at any point that spoils the optic nerve).

Fons d´ull d´una persona amb retinopatia diabètica no proliferativa

Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy with hemorrhages and lipid exudates (white points)

The treatment is medical. When there is edema in the macula (the part of the person responsible for the vision of the detail) the vision is very affected. The ophthalmologist administers monoclonal antibody injections (bevacizumab, ranibizumab, ..) or corticoids (triamcinolone). When it affects the rest of the retina, and according to severity, the treatments are photocoagulation with laser, vitrectomy and cryotherapy.

Imatge del gruix d´una màcula normal

Normal macula

Imatge del gruix d´una màcula amb edema

Macular edema

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