Diabetic Retinopathy

DefinitionDiabetic Retinopathy is a complication of Diabetes mellitus. It is being counted to the group of microvascular complications. The disease affects the retina, which can cause several stages of changes in vision up to blindness.
Clinical SymptomsDuring the course of the disease patients experience progressive deterioration of their vision.
Diagnosis and ExaminationsThe diagnosis is determined via fundoscopic examination of the fundus of the eye. Here the physician recognizes characteristic lesions of Diabetic Retinopathy such as microaneurysms and hemorraghes. In later states of the disease the formation of new, abnormal vessels as well as diabetic macular edema can be observed. New, innovative additional examinations such as Optical Coherence Tomography and Fluorescein angiography can help in diagnosis and treatment of the patient.
Prevention and TreatmentThe most important prevention is an optimal therapy of Diabetes mellitus with ideal blood-sugar levels and treatment of further risk factors such as high blood pressure. Established therapy forms include laser treatment, intravitreal injections as well as operations, which can only be recommended in very advanced cases. By these, slower disease progression and in some cases even a stop of disease progression could be accomplished. No preventive strategy or early therapy is known to date.