Diabetic retinopathy has four stages; they are mild, moderate, severe non-proliferative retinopathy and proliferative retinopathy.
Stages of diabetic retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy develops slowly, and it has four stages; they are:
- Mild non proliferative retinopathy, it is an earliest stage of retinopathy. A small balloon-like swelling occurs in the retina's tiny blood vessels.
- Moderate nonproliferative retinopathy, disease progresses towards some of the blood vessels that nourish the retinas is blocked.
- Severe nonproliferative retinopathy, disease progresses further and many more blood vessels are blocked, and several areas of the retina are out of normal blood supply. Due to this short supply of blood the retina, send signals to grow new blood vessels for nourishment.
- Proliferative retinopathy, at its advanced stage, the retina signals trigger the growth of new blood vessels; these are abnormal and fragile called proliferative retinopathy. They grow along the surface of the clear, vitreous gel that fills the inside of the eye. These do not cause any symptoms; however, they have thin, fragile walls, and if they leak blood, a severe vision loss or even blindness can result.
There is no well-known symptoms for retinopathy, thus it is advisable to go for eye test at least once in two years, if you are diabetics.