What is the prognosis for diabetic retinopathy

Risk of diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a pathological change in the retina that mainly people with type 1 and 2 diabetes develop. Doctors can now use the condition of the diseased retina to predict the course of the disease.

People with type 1 and 2 diabetes have an increased risk of developing retinal disease (diabetic retinopathy). In the course of the retinal changes, those affected experience visual disturbances that can even lead to blindness. However, the symptoms do not appear until the disease is advanced. German ophthalmologists therefore call on those affected to have regular early diagnosis examinations.

The condition of the retinal changes provides a prognosis for the disease

In one study, researchers from Boston re-examined diabetic retinopathy. For four years, they analyzed both the central and peripheral retinas of 100 people with diabetes mellitus on the basis of photographic findings. The result: Participants with pathological changes in the retinal periphery have a 3.2-fold increased risk that the eye disease will progress and move into the proliferative stage. During this phase, new vessels form in the vitreous, which severely impair vision. In addition, the experts found that this process becomes more likely the further the retinal changes are extended outside the center.

German ophthalmologists are confirmed in their practice

The results reinforce the opinion of the German ophthalmologists that an early diagnosis examination must also include an examination of the peripheral retina. “A careful examination of the entire fundus is usually only possible after the pupil has been dilated with medication. That is exactly what takes place in Germany as part of the annual screening examination, ”explains Dr. Georg Spital, General Secretary of the Initiative Group “Early Detection of Diabetic Eye Diseases” (IFDA).


10/09/2015 | Julia Schmidt / Professional Association of Ophthalmologists in Germany