Diabetic Retinopathy Stages: How it’s treated?

Diabetic Retinopathy Stages - Sriramakrishnahospital

One of the complications of diabetes that can affect one’s eyes is called diabetic retinopathy. The light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye can become damaged, which leads to a condition known as diabetic retinopathy (retina).

In the beginning stages, diabetic retinopathy may not cause any symptoms or may only cause mild difficulties with vision. On the other hand, it may result in blindness.

Anyone who has diabetes, either type 1 or type 2, is at risk of developing the condition. It is more likely that you will develop this eye complication if you have diabetes for a longer period of time and if your blood sugar is not well controlled.

Understanding the symptoms that might indicate the condition:

The majority of people will not experience any symptoms of diabetic retinopathy in its early stages. It is possible that you will not notice any changes to your vision until the condition becomes severe. In the case of some individuals, the symptoms come and go.

Included on this list are diabetes blurry vision symptoms:

  • Vision that is hazy or otherwise distorted.
  • a new form of colorblindness or a perception that colours are muted.
  • Poor night vision (night blindness).
  • Eye floaters are described as having the appearance of small, dark spots or streaks.
  • Difficulty reading or seeing things that are far away.

Here are the major types of diabetic retinopathy:

Early diabetic retinopathy

This more common form, known as nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR), is characterized by the absence of the growth of new blood vessels (proliferating).

When you have NPDR, the walls of the blood vessels that are located in your retina become more fragile. The walls of the smaller vessels sometimes develop microscopic bulges that protrude outward, which can cause fluid and blood to leak into the retina. The diameter of larger retinal vessels can become irregular, and the vessels themselves can begin to dilate. It is possible for NPDR to progress from a mild form to a severe form as more blood vessels become blocked.

Sometimes, damage to the blood vessels of the retina can result in an accumulation of fluid (known medically as edema) in the macula region of the retina. If macular edema causes a decrease in vision, treatment is necessary to prevent the loss of vision from becoming permanent.

Advanced diabetic retinopathy

Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is a more severe form of diabetic retinopathy that can develop from diabetic retinopathy over time. In this form, damaged blood vessels in the retina begin to close off, which leads to the growth of new blood vessels in the retina that are abnormal. These new blood vessels are fragile and have the potential to leak into the transparent substance that has the consistency of jelly and fills the center of your eye (vitreous).

The retina can become detached from the back of the eye if scar tissue develops as a result of the growth of new blood vessels. This can happen over time. It is possible for pressure to build up in the eyeball if the new blood vessels cause obstructions to the normal drainage of fluid away from the eye. Glaucoma can develop as a result of this buildup, which can damage the optic nerve, which is responsible for transmitting images from the eye to the brain.

Here are the major diabetic retinopathy stages that are involved:

Stage 1: 

This is the first stage of diabetic retinopathy, which is marked by small areas of swelling in the retina’s blood vessels. Micro aneurysms are the name for these swollen spots.

Stage 2:

When tiny blood vessels get bigger, they start to swell up, which makes it harder for blood to flow to the retina and feed it properly. This makes the macula fill up with blood and other fluids.

Stage 3: 

Blockage of retinal blood vessels reduces blood flow to this area. At this point, the body starts growing new retinal blood vessels.

Stage 4: 

New blood vessels form in the retina at this stage. Fragile blood vessels can leak fluid. This causes blurriness, reduced field of vision, and blindness.

What is involved in the diagnosis of the condition?

A thorough and dilated eye exam is the most effective method to identify diabetes blurry vision. For the purpose of this examination, drops will be placed in your eyes to enlarge (dilate) your pupils, which will provide your doctor with a more clear view of the interior of your eyes. When you first use the drops, you may notice that your close vision is blurry.

During the course of the examination, your eye doctor will examine the interior as well as the exterior of your eyes in search of any abnormalities.

Fluorescein angiography:

Your pupils will first be widened, and then a dye will be injected into a vein in your arm. After that, pictures are taken while the dye is circulating through the blood vessels in your eyes. The images enable the identification of blood vessels that are either closed, broken, or leaking.

Optical coherence tomography (OCT):

The thickness of the retina can be determined from the pictures that are provided by this test, which are cross-sectional images of the retina. This will assist in determining the amount of fluid, if any, that has gotten into the retinal tissue. Later on, OCT exams can be used to monitor the effectiveness of the treatment being administered.

The treatment options that are involved in treating the diabetic retinopathy:

The goal of treatment is to either slow down or stop the progression of diabetic retinopathy, and this goal is largely determined by the type of diabetic retinopathy that a patient has as well as the severity of the condition.

Early diabetic retinopathy treatment options:

It is possible that you do not require treatment right away if you have diabetic retinopathy that is mild or moderate and does not involve proliferative changes. On the other hand, your eye doctor will carefully monitor your eyes in order to ascertain whether or not you require treatment.

Consult with an endocrinologist, who specializes in the treatment of diabetes, to find out whether your diabetes management could be improved in any way. When diabetic retinopathy is mild or moderate, maintaining good control of blood sugar can usually slow the progression of the condition. Reach out for Diabetic Retinopathy treatment in Coimbatore, to undergo the treatment to avoid further complications of the condition.

Advanced diabetic retinopathy available treatment methods:


This laser treatment, also known as focal laser treatment, can prevent or slow blood and fluid leakage in the eye. Laser burns are used to treat leaks from abnormal blood vessels during the procedure.

Focal laser treatment is typically performed in a single session in your doctor’s office or eye clinic. If you had a blurry vision due to macular edema prior to diabetic retinopathy surgery, the treatment may not restore your vision to normal, but it will most likely reduce the likelihood of the macular edema worsening.


A tiny incision in your eye is used to remove blood from the middle of your eye (vitreous) as well as scar tissue that is tugging on the retina. Local or general anesthesia is used in a surgery center or hospital.

With prompt treatment, you can avoid vision loss and slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy. If you manage your diabetes and keep your blood sugar under control after diabetic retinopathy treatment, you will have the best chance of a positive outcome. Consult the best ophthalmologist in Coimbatore in case you are looking to undergo diabetic retinopathy treatment.

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