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Diabetic retinopathy is a condition caused when blood vessels supplying the retina are damaged by diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy can lead to sight loss.
If you have questions about diabetic retinopathy and the treatment options that are available, please call us on 0203 369 2020, or request a call back.
Diabetic retinopathy is a condition in which the blood vessels supplying the retina are damaged. These blood vessels can then leak blood or other fluid which can affect the vision and cause damage to the retina. Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common causes of blindness in the UK.
There are different stages of diabetic retinopathy that may be experienced. The main stages in order are background retinopathy, pre-proliferative retinopathy, and proliferative retinopathy:
At this stage, the blood vessels supplying the retina start swelling and can bleed slightly. At this stage, eyesight is not affected but there is a higher chance of the condition progressing over the next few years. We recommend having your eyes checked by a retinal specialist to monitor and prevent the condition from worsening.
At the pre-proliferative or non-proliferative stage, there could be increased bleeding into the retina. More frequent retinal screening is needed, usually every 3 or 6 months, to monitor the condition.
At this stage, scar tissue and new fragile blood vessels grow on the retina that are prone to bleeding. This bleeding can lead to conditions such as retinal detachment and vitreous haemorrhage; because of this, there’s a high risk of vision loss.
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes. The high blood sugar associated with diabetes causes damage of the retinal blood vessels leading to the growth of abnormal blood vessels that can bleed. This bleeding can cause vitreous haemorrhage and other eye complications.
At early stages of diabetic retinopathy, there may not be any symptoms. At more advanced stages, the following symptoms may appear:
If you notice any of these symptoms, make sure to get your eyes checked immediately. If you have any questions about diabetic retinopathy, contact us here or call us on 0203 369 2020.
At all stages of diabetic retinopathy, diabetes needs to be monitored and managed. Further treatment is provided at the proliferative stage. Treatments include:
Laser treatment is usually painless and local anaesthetic is used to numb the eyes. Usually you can return home the same day after treatment.
Learn more about what to expect after the VEGF injections here and after vitrectomy here.
* Intravitreal injections prices include the injection, surgeon fee and follow up appointment with OCT scan
If you have any questions around diabetic retinopathy or our service, please feel free to make an enquiry or call us on 0203 369 2020
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