Screening Service - A Treatment to Cure Retinal Diseases

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetes mellitus, also called diabetes, has many effects on the body - including causing damage to the retina of the eye. Often the changes are not noticeable at first, but in the course of time can lead to slight visual problems and even blindness. We would like to show how damage to the eye caused by diabetes can be detected early, what treatments can help and what consequences can occur.

What diabetes does to the eye

One of the possible consequences of diabetes is so-called diabetic retinopathy (diabetic changes in the retina) which means damage to the retina of the eye. In the long run, diabetic retinopathy can damage the blood vessels of the retina by changing and even destroying the vessel walls. Diabetic retinopathy is damage to the retina of the eye due to high blood sugar levels and is one of the most common causes of blindness in people between the ages of 20 and 65. High blood sugar levels damage the small blood vessels – the capillaries – in the retina, so that photoreceptors receive too little oxygen. This leads to the formation of new, unstable blood vessels. People with diabetic retinopathy have increasingly poor vision. In severe cases, the described retinal changes can lead to retinal detachment and eventually blindness if left untreated. Dry eyes can also be associated with diabetes, which leads to a reduced quality of life for those affected.

EuroEyes Screening Service

  • 1 in 11 Chinese people suffer from diabetes. It is predicted that by 2040, the diabetic population in China will reach 151 million
  • 80% of the people suffering from diabetes will experience diabetic retinopathy within 20 years
  • Diabetic Retinopathy is one of the most common causes of blindness
  • Vital eye screening is advised, at least once a year

The type of treatment on the eye depends on the stage of the disease. If only slight damage is found, treatment is not absolutely necessary. If the damage is more advanced, patients can be treated with a laser. It is also important to be regularly tested for diabetes, and diabetics should see an eye doctor at least once a year. In the best case, laser eye treatment can stop or significantly slow down diabetic retinopathy.

EuroEyes clinics in Shanghai and Beijing offer patients screening for diabetic retinopathy. By equipping them with the latest OCT technology and OCTA devices from Zeiss, EuroEyes is counteracting the increasing number of Chinese patients with retinal diseases.

With the help of Zeiss OCT AngioPlex device, doctors at EuroEyes can obtain super-high-resolution images of the retina and retinal vessels in a few seconds. It is a non-invasive eye check for patients without injecting contrast medium, but can detect certain fundus diseases at a very early stage, and allows early intervention for conditions such as diabetic retinapathy and age-related macular degeneration.

Laser eye treatment causes targeted scars to form on the retina (laser coagulation) and prevents new messenger substances from being produced there. Laser eye treatment, available in two EuroEyes clinics, can prevent impending blindness.

Sharp vision without macular degeneration

The leading cause of blindness in people over 50 years of age is age related macular degeneration, also known as AMD. The macula is the part of the retina responsible for sharp vision. Macula lutea is the spot responsible for the sharpest vision, also called yellow spot.

The main causes of vision loss in macular degeneration is the development of new blood wessels in the retina which may cause lose of vision or blindness. An early diagnosis and treatment of macular degeneration is extremely important to prevent the loss of vision. The earlier the macular degeneration is diagnosed and treated, the better the result after the treatment of the patients.

By using the OCT technology and OCTA devices from Zeiss, EuroEyes is able to detect macular degeneration and help Chinese patients with retinal diseases. For patients suffering from macular degeneration, treatments with special drugs can improve vision and even prevent blindness.

 

Our Doctors

Dr. Jørn Slot Jørgensen

The founder, chairman, executive Director and CEO of the Euro Eyes clinic group, Dr. Jørn Slot Jørgensen is regarded one of the leading authorities in the field of refractive surgery. The Euro Eyes Eye Laser Clinic in Hamburg and the entire Euro Eyes clinic group functions under his medical direction and leadership.

Prof. Michael Christian Knorz

Prof. Michael Christian Knorz is Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs (International) of EuroEyes. He worked with EuroEyes since July 2015 and is responsible for supervising and overseeing our medical operations worldwide. Prof Knorz also serves as our consulting surgeon in the PRC.

Dr. Göran Helgason

Dr. Gören G. Helgason is one of Europe's most experienced and skilled Swedish doctors. He has mastered all disciplines in eye surgery and has more than 25 years of experience. He has been with the EuroEyes group in Denmark, China and Germany since 2018.

Prof. Dr. Andriy Petrunya

Prof. Dr. Andriy Petrunya is a surgeon and specialist in ophthalmology at the EuroEyes clinic group since 2013. The specialist of ophthalmic surgery and ophthalmology, trained and longtime experienced in almost all fields of ophthalmology, supports EuroEyes China with his expertise.

Frequently Asked Questions

Diabetic retinopathy is a condition in which high blood sugar causes retinalblood vessels to swell and leak blood.

 

Fluctuating blood sugar levels increase risk for this disease, as does long-term diabetes.

Most people don't develop diabetic retinopathy until they've had diabetes for at least 10 years.

However, adult onset (type 2) diabetics should be evaluated at the time of diagnosis and every year thereafter, whereas juvenile onset (type 1) diabetics should be evaluated five years after diagnosis and every year thereafter, at a minimum.

Keeping your blood sugar at an even level can help prevent diabetic retinopathy. If you have high blood pressure, keeping that under control is helpful as well.

Even controlled diabetes can lead to diabetic retinopathy, so you should have your eyes examined once a year; that way, your doctor can begin treating any retinal damage as soon as possible.

In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, you might have no symptoms at all, or you might have blurred vision.

In the later stages, you develop cloudy vision, blind spots or floaters. But never assume that good vision means all is well in the retina! This can be a setup for disaster.

Diabetic retinopathy is classified as either nonproliferative or proliferative. Nonproliferative retinopathy is the early stage, where small retinal blood vessels break and leak.

In proliferative retinopathy, new blood vessels grow abnormally within the retina. This new growth can cause scarring or a retinal detachment, which can lead to vision loss. The new blood vessels may also grow or bleed into the vitreous humor, the transparent gel filling the back of the eye in front of the retina.

No. Early treatment can slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy, but is not likely to reverse any vision loss.

The best treatment is to keep your diabetes under control; blood pressure control also helps. Your doctor may decide on  laser photocoagulation to cause regression of leaking blood vessels and prevent new blood vessel growth. If blood gets into the vitreous humor, your doctor might want to perform a procedure called a vitrectomy. Also, there are a number of new diabetic retinopathy treatment options currently in clinical trials or other stages of development.