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
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.
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.
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.