Diabetic Eye

1. What Is Diabetic Retinopathy(Diabetic Eye Disease)?

Diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing the HK today. As with diabetic retinopathy, the longer you have had diabetes, the greater your risk of getting tractional retinal detachment, macular edema, neovascular glaucoma (when the abnormal blood vessels formed from neovascularization tend to break and bleed into the vitreous humor of the eye). People with diabetic eye disease may have severe vision loss or even blindness.

  • All people with diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Patients should take a comprehensive eye examination every year
  • Patients with light diabetes should take a comprehensive eye examination every 6 months
  • Patients with severe diabetes should take a comprehensive eye examination every 3 months

2. Types of Diabetic Retinopathy

Non-proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy
An early form of the disease, where the retinal blood vessels leak fluid or bleed. Macular edema is a swelling of the macula, caused by the leakage of fluid from retinal blood vessels. It can damage central vision, patient may have a blurred vision

Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy
An advanced form of the disease, it occurs when blood vessels in the retina disappear and are replaced by new vessels that are fragile(they bleed very easily and grow in a wrong place). The larger blood vessels in the retina may be blocked and damaged, as this starve a large area of the retina of vital oxygen. Patient may have a blurred vision, and this can result in a total sight loss

3. Treatments of Diabetic Retinopathy

Laser Treatment
For macular edema and proliferative retinopathy. The laser treatment seals leaking blood vessels and can be used to reduce growth of new fragile vessels, helping prevent vision loss. This treatment may be repeated if needed

Anti-VEGF Therapy
Anti-VEGF stands for 'anti vascular endothelial growth factor, this therapy reduces the the growth of new blood vessel and slow down the leakage or swelling of these new blood vessels may cause. Anti-VEGF drugs are given as an injection into the vitreous (the jelly-like substance inside your eye). Repeated injection may be needed

Vitrectomy Surgery
A vitrectomy procedure removes the vitreous humor or gel-like substance in the eye. Once the ophthalmologist removes the vitreous humor and clears the area, then ophthalmologists usually inject a saline liquid to replace the vitreous humor that ordinarily fills up the inner chambers of the eye

Retinal Detachment
Surgery may be required to treat complications such as retinal detachment