Cases of diabetic retinopathy are increasing as a consequence of metabolic decompensation due to diabetes. There are two types of diabetes, on the one hand type I diabetes mellitus that begins before adolescence, on the other hand, we find adult-onset diabetes, also known as type II diabetes.
The number one risk factor for retinal damage due to sugar is the time of evolution. Those patients who start when they are young are more likely to have diabetic retinopathy throughout their lives than patients who debut their diabetes mellitus over the age of 60.
Retinopathy, as we said, are lesions that appear in the retina due to sugar. They can be microhemorrhages or microeneurysms. This does not necessarily reduce the patient’s vision.
The most frequent symptoms are:
- Dark spots or strands floating in the eye (floaters).
- Blurred vision
- Variable vision
- Altered color vision
- Dark or empty areas of vision
- Loss of vision
Therefore, it is important that the patient, even if he/she is well, goes to the ophthalmologist in the presence of any of these symptoms. The patient with diabetic retinopathy who already has lesions in the eye should be checked at least every 4 months.
The patient who does not have any lesion when the fundus is examined should be checked every year.
The second risk factor is metabolic control and this is what the patient should focus on. Other associated risk factors:
- Having high cholesterol