PROLIFERATIVE DIABETIC RETINOPATHY (PDR)
A diabetic condition causing vision impairment and blindness
Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) is a diabetic condition that can cause vision impairment and blindness. In PDR, the retinal blood vessels close off due to damage. The retina responds by growing new, fragile blood vessels on the surface of the retina. The new blood vessels do not function as the old ones and are unable to carry blood to the retina. The new abnormal blood vessels can cause harmful scar tissue to grow. Scar tissue causes pulling on the retina and vision problems. If the pulling is significant, the macula may detach and cause vision loss.
People with PDR may not have symptoms until it is too late to treat them. Studies suggest that meticulous control of blood sugar decreases the risk of developing serious PDR.
Laser surgery can shrink the abnormal blood vessels and reduce the risk of hemorrhage. The body will usually naturally absorb blood from a vitreous hemorrhage, but it can take from days to years. When a vitreous hemorrhage does not clear in a reasonable amount of time, an operation called a vitrectomy may be implemented to remove the abnormal blood vessels causing the bleeding.