New technique to detect diabetic retinopathy

The ophthalmology team of the University Clinic of the University of Navarre has published a new technique to detect diabetic retinopathy. This research has been published in the magazine Investigative Ophthamology and Visual Science. The research is based on the Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). This test allows measuring the thickness of eye macula without touching the eye and without using contrast injection. The macula is the central part of the retina and is the responsible of the central vision.

According to the conclusions of the researchers, when the thickness of the macula is more than 180 microns, there are more probabilities to have eye lesion caused by diabetes.

OCT is a rapid test and it does not hurt. It allows knowing which patient can have eye lesions in a short term. That way those patients can be controlled closely to treat them when it is necessary. Once the lesions appear, laser treatments or surgery can arrest the lesion or sometimes even improve them.

Diabetic retinopathy is a challenge as for early detection is concerned. If it can be detected and treated in time, there are more possibilities to avoid the evolution towards an advanced level with irreversible damage of the vision.

Those results were published in the World Diabetes Day, which is celebrated on 14th November. The objective is to raise patients’ awareness about the problems diabetes can cause in the eyes. This disease can cause cataract, glaucoma and lesions in retina, known as diabetic retinopathy. The latter is, undoubtedly, the most serious one, as the patient can become blind. However, if early detection and early treatments were used, 3 from every 4 blind diabetic patients could be controlled before becoming blind. For that reason, it is very important the early detection against eye lesions caused by diabetes.

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