Diabetic Retinopathy

Over time, high blood sugars can cause damage to retinal vessels and vision loss from diabetic retinopathy.

What is Diabetes Mellitus?

Diabetes is commonly known as elevated blood sugar. It occurs in young people who have trouble producing a substance called insulin that regulates blood sugar, as well as in older people who develop resistance to insulin as they age. Young diabetics are often referred to as Type 1, while older diabetics are ofte referred to as Type 2. There are also some diabetics who exhibit characteristics of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. All types of diabetics suffer similar effects of elevated blood sugar.
When diabetes is uncontrolled it damages blood vessels throughout the body. The longer a person is diabetic and the more poorly the blood sugar levels are controlled, the more likely that person is to suffer blood vessel damage. As diabetes worsens, it first affects the smallest blood vessels, called capillaries, throughout the body. Some of the locations in the body where tiny capillaries are the most important include the kidneys, the nerves in the legs, feet, and hands, and in the light-sensing tissue of the eye called the retina.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

The earliest sign of small blood vessel damage in the retina is background diabetic retinopathy, also known as non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Background diabetic retinopathy occurs as small blood vessel disease becomes visible in the retina, and your eye doctor can see small aneurysms or hemorrhages (also known as "blood spots") in the retinal tissue at this stage. Most diabetics with background diabetic retinopathy do not know that they have this sign of advancing diabetes, since it does not always affect the vision when it is mildly or moderately severe. However, early detection of background diabetic retinopathy is crucial, as it helps the patient's primary care doctor or endocrinologist (diabetic disease specialist) know the status of the diabetic blood vessel damage throughout the body. The diagnosis of background diabetic retinopathy also lets the patient's eye doctor know that the patient is at a higher risk of vision loss than a patient without background diabetic retinopathy. The guidelines of the American Diabetes Association and American Academy of Ophthalmology reflect that all diabetics should have a dilated eye exam regularly in an effort to detect background diabetic retinopathy while it is still in its early stages.

What is a Diabetic Eye Examination?

When a patient comes to the retinal office for a diabetic eye exam, there are sometimes special imaging tests recommended by the doctor in addition to the dilated eye exam. These tests can include specific pictures of the eye with both regular color digital cameras and special laser cameras. Retinal tomography, or an evaluation of the retinal thickness and the retinal layers, is a unique technology often used to assess the structure and health of the diabetic retina. Fluorescein angiography is another specialized imaging test that allows for detailed visualization of the tiny retinal blood vessels as well as leakage from areas that are diseased. Sometimes an ultrasonic picture of the back of the eye is obtained. During your visit, your doctor will decide which of these tests are important for assessment of the retina. Not every test is recommended at every visit.

What can I do to Preserve Vision?

The cornerstone of saving vision in diabetes remains excellent blood sugar control. Over the last 2 generations, there has been ample, repeated evidence that keeping the blood sugar at an appropriate level, controlling blood pressure, and monitoring cholesterol and fats in the blood are the most effective ways to stave off diabetic retinopathy. It is very important that every diabetic has a good relationship with their primary care team and makes every effort to optimize their diabetic health. A healthy diet, regular exercise several times each week, routine at-home blood sugar monitoring as directed by your diabetic doctor, and ongoing compliance with diabetic medications are the most important part of saving vision in diabetes.

What is Background Diabetic Retinopathy?

If diabetes remains poorly controlled, background diabetic retinopathy advances as there is more and more small blood vessel damage. The small blood vessels continue to collapse and result is varying degrees of retinal ischemia, or poor blood flow to the retinal tissue due to the absence of normal blood vessel supply. Essentially, progressing diabetic retinopathy is like placing a tourniquet on the retina a slowly tightening it. There is currently no technology to restore the lost blood vessels. The lack of these blood vessels itself can cause irreversible vision loss and often limits the vision in diabetics.

What is Diabetic Macular Edema?

, There are two treatable processes that occur as there is less and less normal retinal blood flow. The first is called diabetic macular edema, which means swelling in the retina associated with diabetes. This swelling can blur and distort the vision. The swelling occurs because the walls of the small blood vessels are progressively more damaged in diabetes, and there is leakage of blood and fluid into the cells of the retina.

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What is Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy?

The second treatable process in diabetic retinopathy is the growth of abnormal new blood vessels in the eye. This process is called proliferative retinopathy. The abnormal new blood vessels in the eye probably appear in response to progressive absence of normal blood vessels, and this is an even more ominous process than diabetic macular edema. Often there is both diabetic macular edema and proliferative diabetic retinopathy in the same patient at the same time. The abnormal new blood vessels seen in proliferative retinopathy are fragile and often will bleed into the vitreous jelly filling the back of the eye. This process is called vitreous hemorrhage, and patients will often see hundreds of spots, swirls, or lines when vitreous hemorrhage begins. Sometimes the hemorrhage can be so dense that there is severe blurring of vision. As the abnormal new blood vessels continue to grow, they get denser and thicker. This process can lead to tugging or traction on the retina, and that is termed a diabetic tractional retinal detachment. Diabetic retinal detachment is the most serious and advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy. Abnormal new blood vessel growth in the eye can be treated in its earlier stages with laser therapy. The laser technique is much different than that applied to diabetic macular edema.

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What is a Vitreous Hemorrhage?

Patients with diabetes develop weak blood vessels in the retina that are prone to bleeding. If bleeding occurs into the vitreous cavity, patients will see many tiny floaters and develop moderate to severe vision loss. The blood inside the eye doesn't harm the eye but it does block the vision. Blood inside the eye will sometimes absorb within a few weeks or months. When the blood absorb the vision improves. If the blood doesn't asborb, vitrecotmy surgery can be performed to improve the vision. Because of the risk of surgery, most surgeons wait anywhwere from one month to 6 months depending on the situation to see if the blood will clear without surgery.

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What is a Diabetic Tractional Retinal Detachment?

Patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy sometimes develop a tractional retinal detachment. This can occur when scar tissue grows on the surface of the retina and then contracts or is pulled forwward in the eye by the vitreous. When this happens, the retina, which is stuck to the diabetic scar tissue, pulls away from the back of the eye and away from its blood supply. The vision declines and the retina suffers. Tractional retinal detachments can usually be prevented if sufficient pan-retinal laser is administered before the scar tissue progresses. Once there is a tractional retinal detachment surgery can be helpful.

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Diabetic Retinopathy NEWS

Below are current articles from a Google News Feed on Diabetic Retinopathy

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Robocall increases diabetic retinopathy screening rates among poor minorities
Trying to improve diabetic retinopathy screening rates among poor minorities in this new study, Ipp and his research team tested the effect of telephone reminders given to 288 patients with diabetes: 200 Latinos and 88 African Americans. The patients ...
Increasing Diabetic Retinopathy Adoption will Surge the Market Growth Further, 2020Pharmaceuticals News

all 4 news articles »


Study: AI and a smartphone-based device help in identifying diabetic retinopathy
Worldwide there are 422 million people living with diabetes, according to World Health Organization estimates. The condition can lead complications, including diabetic retinopathy, which can result in blindness. However, a recent study suggests ...
Diabetic Retinopathy Market to Register Substantial Expansion by 2020Pharmaceuticals News
PRN Therapeutics launches nūretin®PR Newswire (press release)

all 5 news articles »

European Biotechnology

Eylea positive in diabetic retinopathy, but analysts skeptical
BioPharma Dive
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. revealed positive Phase 3 results for Eylea in moderately severe to severe non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy patients without diabetic macular edema (DME), noting its intention to file for approval in the U.S. later ...
Eylea met Phase III endpoint in diabetic retinopathyEuropean Biotechnology
Aflibercept Reverses Non-Prolific Diabetic Retinopathy Progression in Certain PatientsMD Magazine
Positive Phase III data will support supplemental FDA application for EyleaThe Pharma Letter
all 5 news articles »


Google researchers find trained AI detects diabetic retinopathy on par with experts
In new study published in Ophthalmology, Google AI researchers found that they could improve their AI disease detecting software by using a small subset of images adjudicated by ophthalmologists that specialize in retinal diseases. "We believe this ...


FDA Approves Ranibizumab Prefilled Syringe for Diabetic Retinopathy
MD Magazine
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved ranibizumab injection 0.3 mg prefilled syringe (Lucentis) as a new method to administer the therapy to all forms of diabetic retinopathy (DR) in people with or without diabetic macular edema (DME ...
FDA Approves Genentech's Lucentis (ranibizumab injection) 0.3 mg Prefilled Syringe for Diabetic Macular Edema and ...Business Wire (press release)
Lucentis 0.3 mg prefilled syringe approved by FDA for all forms of diabetic retinopathyHealio
Additional Strength of Lucentis Prefilled Syringe FDA-ApprovedMonthly Prescribing Reference

all 10 news articles »

Endpoints News

Eylea Meets Endpoint in Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy Trial
Monthly Prescribing Reference
Regeneron announced that Eylea (aflibercept) injection met its 24-week primary endpoint in the Phase 3 PANORAMA trial for the treatment of moderately severe to severe non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR). Eylea, a vascular endothelial growth ...
Eylea meets first endpoint in phase 3 nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy trialHealio
Eylea Shows Promising Data for Diabetic RetinopathyPharmaLive (press release)
EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection Demonstrates Positive Topline Results in Phase 3 Non-Proliferative Diabetic ...PR Newswire (press release)
StreetInsider.com -Endpoints News
all 8 news articles »

E-Buzz Community (blog)

Regeneron's Diabetic Retinopathy Injection Garners Topline Positive Results
Pharmaceutical Processing
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.'s Phase 3 PANORAMA trial evaluating Eylea (aflibercept) Injection in moderately severe to severe non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) met its 24-week primary endpoint. In the trial, 58 percent of Eylea-treated ...
Global Diabetic Retinopathy Market 2018 – ThromboGenics, Actavis, SirnaomicsE-Buzz Community (blog)

all 2 news articles »

Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy Market to Reach Roughly US ...
Digital Journal
Digital Journal is a digital media news network with thousands of Digital Journalists in 200 countries around the world. Join us!
Diabetic Retinopathy Market Research Report – Market Size, Share ...Healthcare Journal

all 2 news articles »

FDA Approves 0.3-mg Prefilled Syringe for Lucentis Administration
P&T Community
The FDA has approved the ranibizumab injection (Lucentis, Genentech) 0.3-mg prefilled syringe (PFS) as a new method of administering the medicine to treat all forms of diabetic retinopathy. In April 2017, Lucentis 0.3 mg became, and remains, the first ...

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EPM Magazine

FDA approved prefilled syringe version of Lucentis for diabetic retinopathy
EPM Magazine
Diabetic retinopathy is a serious condition that affects millions of people in the US,” said Dr Sandra Horning, chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development. “Today's approval of the Lucentis 0.3 mg prefilled syringe reinforces our ...
BRIEF — US approval for pre-filled syringe 0.3mg dosage of LucentisThe Pharma Letter

all 2 news articles »

Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy Market Outlook, Demand, Growth, Consumption & Forecast for 5 year
Healthcare Journal
This study also contains company profiling, product picture and specifications, sales, market share and contact information of various international, regional, and local vendors of Global Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy Market. The market ...
Future of the Global Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy Sales Market – Growth, Latest Trend & Forecast 2022Newsient (blog)

all 3 news articles »

Medical Device and Diagnostics Industry

IDx Closer to Nod for Diabetic Retinopathy Diagnostic
Medical Device and Diagnostics Industry
Privately held IDx is developing an artificial intelligence-based system that could help with the diagnosis diabetic retinopathy – a disease that leads to blindness if undetected. The company met its endpoints in a pivotal trial of the IDx-DR system ...

Endocrinology Advisor

Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy Independently Associated With CVD in T1D
Endocrinology Advisor
Proliferative diabetic retinopathy status was independently associated with cardiovascular disease in patients with chronic kidney disease. Individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D) with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and proliferative diabetic retinopathy ...
Health Watch: Diabetic Eye Problems - Detect Them EarlyCaledonian Record
Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy Therapeutics Market – Acucela Inc, Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc, Antisense ...First News 24
Diabetic Retinopathy Market Size, Market Share, Trends & Growth Analysis, Industry Forecast To 2025Healthcare Journal
all 8 news articles »


Roche's Lucentis diabetic treatment gets FDA OK
Switzerland's Roche Holding AG RO said Thursday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved its Lucentis 0.3 mg prefilled syringe as a treatment for all forms of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness ...

and more »

Business Wire (press release)

Eyenuk Inc.'s AI-Based Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Software EyeArt™ Tested with Portable Smartphone-Based ...
Business Wire (press release)
This is especially notable given that our AI system was never trained on images captured by the Remidio FOP system, suggesting the robustness and broad applicability of our software algorithms,” stated Kaushal Solanki, Founder & CEO of Eyenuk, Inc. “We ...
Smartphone-based Retinal Imaging Together With Artificial Intelligence Powers Automated, Sensitive and Early ...PR Newswire (press release)

all 2 news articles »

Greater Kashmir

DIABETIC RETINOPATHY: Fighting the epidemic
Greater Kashmir
Diabetes is now an epidemic in India. With Diabetes comes a host of other conditions. The more significant one is Diabetic Retinopathy. Longstanding Diabetes Mellitus damages the small blood vessels of the retina, which normally supply oxygen to the ...

Diabetic Retinopathy Market 2027 Size, Development Status, Type and Application, Segmentation, Forecast by 2027
Pharmaceuticals News
Diabetic Retinopathy Market Insights, Epidemiology and Market Forecast – 2027, report provides a detailed analysis of the Diabetic Retinopathy epidemiology and market outlook Along with provides the overview of the Diabetic Retinopathy by providing the ...

Ask your retinal specialists when to refer diabetic retinopathy
ATLANTA – Today's technology allows optometrists to be proactive when managing and referring patients with diabetic retinopathy, Jay M. Haynie, OD, said in a presentation here at SECO. His 2-hour talk on modern-day diabetes was sponsored by Primary ...

Robocalls increase retinal screening rates in low-income minorities with diabetes
CHICAGO — Prerecorded telephone reminders may increase screening rates for diabetic eye disease among low-income minority patients, providing pronounced benefit to African-American patients, according to study data presented here. Diabetic retinopathy ...

4 latest FDA approvals
Becker's Hospital Review
Here are the four latest drugs or medical devices approved by the FDA since March 9. 1. The Guardian Connect system uses predictive analytics and artificial intelligence technology from IBM Watson Health to analyze glucose levels. 2. Adcetris is the ...

Bel Marra Health

Diabetic Retinopathy Risk Influenced by Diet
Bel Marra Health
Diabetic retinopathy refers to damage to the blood vessels of the eye retina due to diabetes. The condition is progressive and results in a gradual weakening of eyesight, at times causing complete vision loss. While this predominantly affects patients ...

and more »

Global Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy market Research Report Released with growth, latest trends & forecasts ...
Tokenfolks (press release)
“This report is a professional account, which gives thorough knowledge along with complete details pertaining to Global Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy Market. The research experts have evaluated the general sales of Global Proliferative Diabetic ...


Roche's (RHHBY) Lucentis 0.3 mg PFS Receives FDA Approval
Roche Holding AG (RHHBY - Free Report) announced that the FDA has approved the Lucentis 0.3 mg prefilled syringe (“PFS”) as a new method of administering medicine for all forms of diabetic retinopathy. We remind investors that Lucentis 0.3 mg is the ...

and more »

Diabetic retinopathy Pipeline Highlights - 2017-2020 Update - ResearchAndMarkets.com
Business Wire (press release)
The latest report from, Diabetic retinopathy Pipeline Highlights - 2017 Update, provides most up-to-date information on key pipeline products in the global Diabetic retinopathy market. It covers emerging therapies for Diabetic retinopathy in active ...

and more »

Medical News Bulletin

Does Your Diet Increase Your Risk of Developing Diabetic Retinopathy?
Medical News Bulletin
Diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetes, is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness worldwide. It is becoming a major public health concern especially given the rapid increase of diabetes incidence. Diabetic retinopathy causes damage to ...

Diabetic Retinopathy Market: Industry Trends And Growth Rate, Product & Application Segmentation, Key Companies ...
Pharmaceuticals News
Diabetic Retinopathy Market report based on delivery model, application, services, and geography. A detailed analysis of the key industry players has been done to provide insights into their business, products and services, and key strategies such as ...

and more »

Medical Xpress

Robocalls improve diabetes eye screening among low-income minorities
Medical Xpress
Trying to improve diabetic retinopathy screening rates among poor minorities in this new study, Ipp and his research team tested the effect of telephone reminders given to 288 patients with diabetes: 200 Latinos and 88 African Americans. The patients ...

and more »

Ping An Technology again wins world-class award in medical field after setting new world record in LUNA rankings
Markets Insider
SHANGHAI, March 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The results of the Indian Diabetic Retinopathy Image Dataset (IDRiD) fundus analysis competition organized by the IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging (ISBI) were recently announced. Ping An ...

BLOG: Leveraging technology
Healio (blog)
The second major theme for me at this annual meeting in the Big Apple is that the technology available to improve the optometric management of diabetes has taken several leaps forward. Between optical coherence tomography angiography and high ...

Business Wire (press release)

Eyenuk, Inc. Receives Health Canada Approval for EyeArt™, an AI-enabled Cloud-based Automated Diabetic ...
Business Wire (press release)
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Eyenuk, Inc., a leading developer of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) enabled, clinically supported solutions to identify diseases via retinal image analysis, today announced that it has received a Medical Device ...

and more »
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