4 Stages of Diabetic Retinopathy Disability
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among American adults. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. It occurs when diabetes damages the small blood vessels of the retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue located in the back of the eye and may be worthy of work disability.
It normally takes several years for diabetic retinopathy to reach a stage where it could threaten individual sight. Diabetic retinopathy can affect the retina, the light-sensitive layer of cells at the back of the eye that converts light into electrical signals.
Diabetic Retinopathy Symptoms
The person affected will usually see the loss of vision when this pathology has already advanced so it is mandatory and important, to check the diabetic eye fund periodically and before the loss of vision begins. Diabetic retinopathy might cause no symptoms or only mild vision problems at first, but it can lead to blindness.
This condition can develop in anyone who has type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The longer you have diabetes and the less controlled your blood sugar is, the more likely you are to develop this eye complication. An individual might not have symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy.
As the condition progresses it might develop. Therefore, the patient may have Diabetic Retinopathy and not be aware of it because they have no symptoms. As a progression of the diabetes problem occurs, patients may perceive any of the following symptoms
- Loss of vision.
- Blurred or fluctuating vision (changes from clear to blurred).
- Poor night vision.
- Difficulty perceiving colours.
- Stains in the visual field (myodesopsia “The visible deposits within the eye’s vitreous humour which may be annoying or problematic to some people”) or dark areas (the main symptom of retinal detachment)
Types of Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is caused by damage to the blood vessels in the tissue at the back of the eye (retina). Poorly controlled blood sugar is a risk factor. Early symptoms include floaters, blurriness, dark areas of vision and difficulty perceiving colours.
There are two types of diabetic retinopathy
- Nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR): In this early disease stage, people have blood vessels that leak in the retina. This manifests with either fluid, haemorrhage, or lipid seen in the retina. Eventually, these blood vessels close causing ischemia or poor blood flow.
- Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR): When the disease progresses, abnormal blood vessels grow in response to the ischemia. These abnormal vessels can leak blood into the gel-like substance (vitreous) that fills your eye and cause tractional changes to the surface of the retina detaching it and resulting in severe vision loss in the late stages.
The disease extends beyond the retina with the growth of new vases (new anomalous blood vessels) and possible oedema. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is the most advanced phase of this pathology associated with diabetes.
Diabetic Retinopathy Stages
There are four kinds of disability percentages in the case of diabetes. It must be borne in mind that to reach the 33% minimum required it is necessary to belong to classes 3 and 4:
- Stage 1: Does not grant any percentage, 0%: You will not be able to benefit from any percentage of disability if you are a patient with asymptomatic diabetes mellitus and follow a pharmacological and dietary treatment.
- State 2: Between 1% and 24% disability: It could be granted if you have asymptomatic diabetes mellitus but whose correct treatment is not able to maintain adequate metabolic control. Or when there is evidence of diabetic microangiopathy defined by retinopathy or persistent albuminuria greater than 30 mg/dl.
- Stage 3: Between 25% and 49%: It requires that you have had to be hospitalized for acute decompensations of your diabetes, up to three times in a year and lasting more than 48 hours each.
- Stage 4: Between 50% and 70%.
It is also granted if you have to be hospitalized for acute decompensations, but more than three times a year.
Who might get diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetes can cause multiple eye problems including cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy which is defined as damage to the retinal vessels of the eye. Anyone who has diabetes can get diabetic retinopathy, including people who have:
- Gestational diabetes.
- Type 1 diabetes.
- Type 2 diabetes.
For someone who has diabetes, the risk factors for diabetic retinopathy can include:
- Uncontrolled blood sugar
- The duration for which you have had diabetic retinopathy
What Benefits are Diabetics Entitled to
Since the deficiencies and pathologies of vision can be objectified by measuring their incidence in visual function, it is possible to determine the degrees of extreme impairment of work capacity.
Therefore, the situations that may give rise to a Total or Partial Permanent Disability are those that offer the greatest complications due to the lack of vision when assessing a specific performance or profession. In these cases it will be necessary to meet the requirements of a specific professional, to determine the extent to which the affected worker is affected.
In certain jobs, crashes against immovable objects, falls, abuses or blows with vehicles are the most important risks. For more info, you can consult the best doctors at Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai.
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