diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy: New Breakthroughs and What You Need to Know

One of the major complications of diabetes is diabetic eye disease, which can eventually lead to blindness. Diabetic eye disease can include the conditions of retinopathy (when the blood vessels of the retina become damaged due to high blood glucose), diabetic macular edema (swelling in the macula area of the retina), cataracts, and glaucoma. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of vision loss in people 20 to 65 throughout the world. As many as half of people with diabetes have diabetic retinopathy that is undiagnosed.

New Breakthrough in Diagnosing Diabetic Retinopathy

A new breakthrough came when a sixteen year old recently invented an app call Eyeagnosis that could help diagnose her grandfather’s retinopathy. Kavya Kopparapu’s grandfather lives in India, where access to medical care is not as prevalent as in the U.S. So Kopparapu invented an app to diagnose it. This breakthrough and those like it can be very helpful or the future of medicine. The app uses artificial intelligence to scan the eye, with the help of an attached 3D-printed lens.


Tips to Avoid Diabetic Retinopathy

Here are some tips to avoid and treat diabetic retinopathy (DR).

  • Make sure to get regular dilated eye exam each year. The eyes are key to discovering other things possibly wrong in your body. Doctors can see if there are any disease or brain issues through your eyes. An eye test can alert doctors to diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, and more. Discovering DR early on can help prevent blindness from occurring.
  • Take care of your body and manage your diabetes. Follow your doctor’s orders for managing your diabetes and eat a healthy diet. Mange your glucose levels, blood pressure, kidneys and cholesterol.
  • Possible treatments of DR include certain drugs, laser treatments (laser photocoagulation) to seal off leaky blood vessels in the eye, or in very serious cases, a vitrectomy to restore vision.

People with all types of diabetes – Type 1, Type 2, and gestational – can be at risk for diabetic retinopathy. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to develop it. The most important thing is to have a full dilated eye exam each year, and stay on top of your health to prevent any possible deterioration of sight.