Diabetes is a complex chronic disease that can affect the entire body, including the eyes. According to the Brazilian Ophthalmology Council (CBO), diabetics have a 25 times greater risk of loss of vision than people who are not diagnosed with the disease.
This is because uncontrolled glycemia affects the small vessels of the retina, an area responsible for the formation of images sent to the brain, causing diabetic retinopathy. "This is the main and most feared complication of diabetes due to the impact it has on people's daily lives, making routine activities difficult," explained Dr. Ana Paula Tupynambá, an eye doctor at Vision Hospital.
The doctor explained that if not diagnosed early and treated correctly, this disease can cause irreversible blindness. "Eye disorders caused by diabetic retinopathy range from visual blurring to sudden loss of vision," Dr. Ana Paula.
The diagnosis of this disease is made by an ophthalmologist, through funduscopy or retinal mapping. "This is an examination that provides visualization of the fundus structure of the eye, serving to evaluate the optic nerve, retinal and retinal vessels themselves," said the expert.
According to the CBO, diabetic retinopathy affects 75% of people diagnosed with this disease for more than 20 years. Therefore, medical follow-up is very important, and the frequency of consultation is determined by the level of the disease. "For the most severe cases, we often show follow-up with specialists every month," Dr. Ana Paula.
Prevention and treatment
Glycemic control is the main way to prevent diabetic retinopathy. That means you have to pay attention to food, to practice physical activity and do tests regularly.
For cases that have been diagnosed, unfortunately, this disease has no cure, but proper treatment helps reduce symptoms and slows down the development of vision loss. It is important to remember that treatment depends on the stage of the disease and also on the patient's glycemic control.
"In the milder phase, treatment is carried out with intravitreal laser and anti-VEGF, injections of drugs applied in the vitreous cavity. In a more severe stage, vitrectomy surgery is needed," the ophthalmologist closed.
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