According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, diabetic retinopathy is a diabetes-specific eye disease. It occurs when high blood sugar levels damage the retina. Blood vessels can break, burst or leak leading to problems in vision.
There are two main stages of diabetic retinopathy and the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy differ depending on the type of disease.
Early Stage Retinopathy
These eye problems in diabetes are synonymous with many diabetics, especially in the early stage. This is also known as NPDR (non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy). In NPDR, blood vessels can leak causing the retina to swell. This is known as macular edema which can also lead to a loss of vision. In most cases, NPDR leads to blurred vision.
PDR (proliferative diabetic retinopathy)
It is the more advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy. This is one of the more advanced diabetic eye problems where the retina grows new blood vessels. If these vessels bleed a little it can lead to tiny floaters. This can happen even with the natural aging process; however, with excessive bleeding that can lead to a total loss of vision. This video explains this concept well.
This video explains the excessive bleeding in the retina.
Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy
The best method of treating diabetic retinopathy is to treat diabetes and control your blood sugar levels. It is unlikely that the damage can be reversed by controlling your blood sugar levels (via diet), but it can stop further damage.
Other Ayurvedic remedies for diabetic retinopathy re:
- Lepa over eyes
- Netra seka or Netra dhara
- Netra tarpana (if no active bleeding)
- Oral medicines or Rasayana chikitsa e.g. Saptamrita lauh, Triphla ghrita, Mahatriphla ghrita, Patoladi ghrita, Jivantyadi ghrita, Triphla churan, Shatavari churan
- Shiro lepa or pichu with sheet stambhan aushadhi
These Yoga practices are also found to be useful for treating diabetes and reducing blood sugar levels:
- Kapalbhati pranayama
- Bhastrika pranayama
It is important to also go for regular checkups with your doctor to ensure that your eyes aren’t degrading slowly. The changes may occur over time even with proper diabetic care. At any point, especially if you are diabetic, please do consider consulting our doctors.