Lesson 8: Ocular effects of diabetes Copy

Microaneurysm – small deep red dots in the retina (not haemorrhages) but as “out-pouches” from damaged or weakened capillary walls. They may or may not be leaking.

Hard Exudates – distinct yellow white deposits of lipids that have leaked from damaged retinal capillaries. They can be seen as small deposits, larger plagues or in distinct circinate pattern around the macular.

Hemorrhages – intraretinal bleeding may be ‘dot’, ‘blot’ or ‘flame’ shaped depending on their depth within the retina.

Cotton Wool Spots – Greyish white fluffy patches of discolouration in the nerve fiber layer, linked with focal hypoxia and swelling of nerve fibers.

Macular Oedema – swelling at the macular caused by leakage and build of fluid into the retina, affecting vision.

VEGF – Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor. Stimulates the growth of new blood vessels.

Neovascularisation – abnormal and fragile new blood vessel growth on the retinal surface, which can bleed easily, affecting vision.