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Non Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes can cause diabetic retinopathy, an eye disease. This occurs when high blood sugar levels damage blood vessels in the retina. Diabetic retinopathy affects up to 80% of people who have had diabetes for 20 years or more. With proper eye care and monitoring, at least 90% of new cases could be avoided.


Symptoms of Non Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy symptoms frequently do not appear until significant damage has occurred inside the eye. They include;
  • Blurred vision/ loss of vision
  • Seeing floaters or dark spots
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Difficulty distinguishing colors


Non Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy Risk Factors

  • Diabetes: The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely he or she is to develop diabetic retinopathy, particularly if the diabetes is poorly controlled.
  • Medical conditions: other medical conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol increase the risk.
  • Pregnancy
  • Heredity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Diet


Stages of Non Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

Mild non proliferative diabetic retinopathy – swelling in small areas of the blood vessels in the retina.

Moderate non proliferative diabetic retinopathy – some of the blood vessels in the retina will become blocked leading to hemorrhages.

Severe non proliferative diabetic retinopathy – more blocked blood vessels, which lead to areas of the retina no longer receiving adequate blood flow


Diagnosis of Non Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

Visual acuity testing: This measures a person’s vision.

Tonometry: This test measures pressure inside the eye.

Pupil dilation: Drops placed on the eye’s surface widen the pupil, allowing a physician to examine the retina and optic nerve.

Comprehensive dilated eye exam: It allows the doctor to check the retina for:

  • Changes to blood vessels or leaking blood vessels
  • Fatty deposits
  • Swelling of the macula (Diabetic macular edema)
  • Changes in the lens
  • Damage to nerve tissue


Optical coherence tomography (OCT): It uses light waves to produce images of the retina to assess the amount of fluid.

Fundus fluorescein angiography(FFA): During this test, your doctor will inject a dye into your arm, allowing them to track how the blood flows in your eye. They’ll take pictures of the dye circulating inside of your eye to determine which vessels are blocked, leaking, or broken.


Non Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment

Any treatment aims to slow or stop disease progression. Regular monitoring may be the only treatment for non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy in its early stages. Controlling blood sugar levels, as well as diet and exercise, can help slow the progression of the disease.

Laser : If the disease progresses, the blood vessels can leak blood and fluid into the retina, causing macular edema. This leakage can be stopped with laser therapy. To prevent macular edema from worsening, a laser is used to target a specific leaky vessel in the macula.



If you have diabetes, you must do the following:

  • Get regular eye exams and physical checkups.
  • Keep your blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure at healthy levels.
  • Be mindful of any changes you may notice in your vision, and discuss them 
  • with your doctor.
  • Timely treatment and appropriate follow ups are important.
  • Regular exercise


To get your eye examined, visit Accra Specialist Eye Hospital – Voted the Best Eye Hospital in Ghana. Visit Accra’s Finest Eyecare Facility today!  Our Services include are  Laser Eye Surgeries,  Micro Incision Cataract, Surgery (Phaco), Retina Surgeries, Phaco (Cataract), Gluacoma Surgeries, Cornea Surgery – Transplant , Oculoplastic Surgery and Child Eye Care Services.

We're an eye specialist hospital dedicated to providing the best care for you and your eyes. At Accra Specialist Eye Hospital, we are committed to delivering accessible and comprehensive eye care, to the highest possible standards. Our Expertise & Services Offered are Laser Eye Surgeries, Micro Incision Cataract, Surgery (Phaco), Retina Surgeries, Phaco (Cataract), Gluacoma Surgeries, Cornea Surgeru - Transplant , Oculoplastic Surgery and Child Eye Care Services. We're located at Tantra Hill - Accra.