Diabetes is a health problem that is increasing in frequency all over the world and in our country. So much so that today, it is stated that 11 out of every 1 people have diabetes.
While the number of diabetic patients in the world was 2013 million in 382, it is stated that this number will reach 2035 million by 592, which indicates an increase of 55 percent. Diabetes, which can destroy all tissues and organs and cause many diseases, especially cardiovascular diseases, also threatens the eyes! If diabetic retinopathy, which is the most important damage caused by diabetes in the eyes, is not treated; It can lead to serious vision loss and even blindness. Diabetic retinopathy, which does not cause symptoms until it creates a serious problem in the eyes, causes severe vision loss in 15 percent of diabetics whose diabetes duration reaches 10 years, and blindness in 2 percent. While diabetes is not well controlled and not adhering to treatment increases this risk a lot, it also brings the duration forward. Acıbadem Maslak Hospital Eye Diseases Specialist Prof. Dr. Nur Acar Göçgil, drawing attention to the importance of early diagnosis and treatment in diabetic retinopathy, said, “The early detection of diabetic retinopathy enables the early and timely application of the necessary treatment. Thus, permanent vision loss is prevented or reduced in diabetic patients. If even patients with advanced stage retinopathy can get the appropriate treatment on time, their vision can be preserved 95 percent. Therefore, annual regular eye exams should never be neglected ”.
The most common cause of blindness
Diabetic retinopathy; It is defined as an eye disease that develops due to diabetes and causes damage and loss of vision in the network tissue of the eye called 'retina'. Light entering the eyeball is perceived by the retina, which is made up of millions of nerve cells; It is transmitted to the visual center in the brain via the optic nerve. It is very important that retinal cells, like the brain, are well nourished, oxygenated, and therefore blood circulation, in order for them to function well. With the disruption of the circulation of the fine capillaries that feed the retina over time, the functions of the nerve cells also decrease. This picture results in decreased vision and loss of vision that can lead to blindness. Diabetic retinopathy, which is the most common cause of vision loss in developed countries, is the most common cause of blindness in the active and productive age group between the ages of 20-64.
It sneaks without any symptoms
"Diabetic retinopathy is an insidious disease" warning Professor. Dr. Nur Acar Göçgil continues his words as follows: “As long as the retinopathy does not affect the yellow spot (macula), which is the clear visual center of the retina, the vision of the center does not deteriorate and the patient does not notice anything. Although bleeding begins in the retina, it does not show symptoms, and the patient's vision does not decrease. These bleedings can only be detected after a detailed examination performed by an ophthalmologist after the pupil of the person is dilated with the drop. Dr. Nur Acar Göçgil says that when diabetic retinopathy only affects the yellow spot in the central retina, vision problems such as decreased vision, blurred vision, curved straight lines and broken vision and pale colors develop.
Retinal examination every year is a must!
The most important way to prevent and actually delay diabetic retinopathy; ensuring that the patient's blood sugar is under control by continuing his medication, diet and exercises regularly. The second important rule is that he does not neglect regular eye examination. Eye Diseases Specialist Prof. Dr. Nur Acar Göçgil stated that the development of new retinopathy can be prevented by 90% with retinal scans and correct treatment, “Every patient diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should have a retinal examination and these screenings should continue at least once a year. In Type I diabetes, which is much less common, retinal scanning is recommended to start after 5 years and continue at least once a year. According to the degree of retinopathy, the retina specialist determines the follow-up period individually ”.
With these methods, 'vision loss' can be prevented
In the treatment of diabetic retinopathy; Argon laser photocoagulation therapy, intraocular drug injections and vitrectomy methods are used. “With all these treatment methods, our goal is to remove the bleeding in the retina, the disappearance of the newly developed vessels that will bleed, and especially the most important center retina (macula) for vision to remain healthy. In this way, the protection of vision is prevention of loss ”said Prof. Dr. Nur Acar Göçgil continues as follows: “When the treatments are applied on time and correctly, the retina becomes stable when the patient has regular diabetes control. Thus, the patient's ability to see is protected and increases "
Prof. Dr. Nur Acar Göçgil describes the methods used in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy as follows:
Argon laser photocoagulation therapy: It is applied to stop newly developed, abnormal and bleeding vessels or small vessel dilatation near the center. A lens is used that focuses the laser beam on the retina; The procedure is painless and the treatment is completed in a few sessions.
Intraocular drug injection: It is applied to reduce edema and thickening in the center of the retina, especially in the yellow spot region, and to increase vision. This application, which is very effective, needs to be repeated between 1-4 months depending on the nature of the drug, and it continues until the leak is over.
Vitrectomy: It is a microsurgical method applied to remove the bleeding that fills the inside of the eyeball, the membranes that tug the retina, and soothe the retina. In this method, the procedures are performed in the eyeball cavity, just like in laparoscopic surgery, but with very thin (0.4mm) microcannulae.