Diabetes is a disease that requires a lot of care, including the ophthalmologist, since poor control of the metabolic disease, which celebrates its World Day this Sunday, can cause a sudden and total loss of vision. This is due to diabetic retinopathy (DR), the main complication of diabetes in the eye, affects 50% of diabetics between 40 and 59 years old and 70% of those over 60, warn IMO Grupo Miranza ophthalmologists.
“One of the main problems we find ourselves with is that, in many cases, DR, despite being in a very advanced phase, does not warn (there is no pain, nor a very obvious visual impairment) and the patient can lose all the vision of the eye suddenly ”, explains Dr. Carlos Mateo, surgeon with more than 35 years of experience in diseases of the retina at IMO Grupo Miranza.
The key aspect is that “diabetes causes damage to the retinal blood vessels and, without proper specialist control, progresses to its most severe type: proliferative DR,” continues Dr. Mateo. This form of retinopathy is characterized by the abnormal growth of blood vessels in the retina, which can lead to serious vision problems, such as bleeding inside the eye (they are not externally visible but cause loss of vision, in many cases, severe) or a retinal detachment.
Fortunately, “today, in countries like ours, patients with diabetes tend to have good control of the disease. However, we still find some cases that develop the most serious types of DR by not following the guidelines of endocrinology specialists ”, points out the ophthalmologist.
Early management of diabetic retinopathy
Faced with a patient with DR, the ideal, he points out, is “not to let the disease progress to its proliferative type because, at that point, it is already necessary to operate, since the state in which it reaches the clinic is usually already very serious and it is more difficult to regain full vision or
partially. For this reason, we always insist on the importance of prevention through reviews and metabolic control of the disease, ”explains Mateo.
For less severe cases, there are other less invasive techniques, such as injections of drugs into the eye or the laser. However, “each case must be evaluated in a personalized way, by an expert retina ophthalmologist who can offer a tailored solution, with the aim of helping the patient to regain maximum vision and prevent the visual complications of diabetes from returning. to appear ”, he concludes.
Reviews since diagnosis
According to the IMO Grupo Miranza specialist, good diabetes control should be done at three points: periodic check-ups with the endocrinologist, visits to the ophthalmologist (depending on the degree of RD, at least once a year) and an active attitude of the patient, following the instructions of your doctors.
Likewise, type 1 diabetics (usually young) should see an ophthalmologist at least eight years after diagnosis and type 2 (most of them adults) when they are diagnosed.