Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment

Don’t risk losing your sight to diabetes – see Eye Institute for efective diabetic retinopathy treatments.

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you’re at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, and you should take action immediately to prevent it.

Diabetic retinopathy, sometimes called DM retinopathy, occurs when the blood vessels in your retina (the focusing surface at the back of your eye) are damaged due to high blood sugar levels. In its later stages, diabetic retinopathy can seriously affect your sight, and may even cause blindness.
 

Detecting diabetic retinopathy

Your ophthalmologist can tell you if you have diabetic retinopathy by using a special camera to take a photograph of the back of your eye. You should make an appointment to have this test as soon as you’re diagnosed with diabetes, and at least every two years after that.
 

 

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Preventing diabetic retinopathy

The best way to prevent diabetic retinopathy is to keep your blood sugar and blood pressure under control. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly is essential, as is following any specific instructions your doctor gives you.
 

What treatments exist for Diabetic retinopathy?

Treating diabetic retinopathy early can yield fantastic results, with as many as 95% of patients avoiding substantial vision loss if they are treated in time. That’s why it’s so important to have regular eye exams to check for diabetic retinopathy
 

Laser treatment

Patients who have reached the proliferative retinopathy stage – where abnormal blood vessels grow on the retina – can be treated with a procedure called laser photocoagulation. A laser is used to seal off leaking blood vessels and prevent further growth of blood vessels that lead to loss of vision.
 

Medication

Two drugs called Lucentis and Avastin have shown promising results in trials, and may be able to stop and even reverse vision loss in patients with early stages of diabetic retinopathy.
 

Vitrectomy

If you have blurred vision because of a vitreous haemorrhage – where blood leaks into the ‘gel’ that fills the eye – you may also need a vitrectomy.  Vitrectomy is also used for retinal detachment caused by diabetes.
 

Cataract & glaucoma treatment

Sometimes diabetic retinopathy can also cause cataracts and glaucoma, in which case you may need a cataract operation or glaucoma treatment as well.
 

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