How can diabetic retinopathy be treated?
In the early stages, diabetic retinopathy does not need any treatment. An exception would be if you develop macular oedema. Then Thomas can give you focal laser treatment to cauterize the tiny blood vessels beneath the retina that are leaking and causing the macula to swell. You may need several treatments.
The fourth stage is called proliferative retinopathy. Now many more new blood vessels have grown over the retina and are leaking blood and fluid that impairs your vision. Thomas can give you a scatter laser treatment that delivers over a thousand tiny “burns” to the retina. They seal and shrink those dysfunctional capillaries, reducing the leakage.
If leakage has become severe in the vitreous gel, you could have a Vitrectomy. That is a surgical procedure to remove the blood-filled vitreous and replace it with a simple saline solution, gas, or silicone oil. When a Vitrectomy is done in a timely manner, it can greatly reduce your chances of developing profound visual loss within the next few years.
Diabeticretinopathy is one more thing you have to watch out for if you are diabetic. We are here to help.
In the Long Term
Proliferative retinopathy puts you at long-term risk for bleeding in the eyes and makes it even more important to come to our office for regular eye exams. If Thomas can monitor your eyes closely, he will know when it is time for another laser treatment to protect your remaining eyesight. If you have these laser treatments, your risk of becoming blind drops dramatically.
However, please keep in mind that no treatment can cure diabetic retinopathy. The condition and your diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure in general must be well-managed so that you can continue with the lifestyle and activities you enjoy.
Of all people, diabetics must be the most consistent in having their eyes checked. We urge you to come for regular eye exams with Thomas so he can catch developing problems early and help you preserve your eyesight.