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Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment

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What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease caused by diabetes.
Diabetes can affect your eye care, making it especially important to get a regular eye exam. Damaged blood vessels and abnormal new ones can cause vision loss.
Diabetic retinopathy involves swelling, leaking or abnormal growth of blood vessels in or near the retina. There are multiple stages to this disease, the earliest of which may not present any symptoms you can see.
The high blood sugar levels cause damage to blood vessels in the retina. These blood vessels can swell and leak, or they can close, stopping blood from passing through. Sometimes abnormal and new blood vessels grow on the retina.
All of these changes can impact your vision.
Symptoms you can see include dark or black spots in your vision that increase over time, or severely blurred vision due to bleeding within the eye.
That’s why comprehensive eye exams are so important when thinking about diabetes and eye sight—both type 1 and type 2 diabetics are at risk for developing diabetic retinopathy, and the longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to develop some form of the disease.

Treatments for Diabetic Retinopathy

Your treatment is based on how this condition ahs impacted your eyes. Treatment options may include:

Medical Control

Controlling your blood sugar and blood pressure can stop vision loss.

Carefully follow the diet your nutritionist has recommended and ake the medicine your diabetes doctor prescribed for you. Sometimes, good sugar control can even bring some of your vision back. Controlling your blood sugar level and pressure keeps your eye’s blood vessels healthy.

Eye Injections

If the condition progresses, injections into the eye might be required.

The most common eye injections are called anti-VEGF medication, and include Avastin, Eylea, and Lucentis.

Anti-VEGF medication helps reduce swelling of the macula, slowing vision loss and perhaps improving vision. This drug is given by injections (shots) in the eye.

Steroid medicine is another option to reduce macular swelling. This is also given as injections in the eye. Your doctor will recommend how many medication injections you will need over time.

If the condition worsens, treatments can include replacement of the inner gel inside the eye (called a vitrectomy) and different kinds of laser surgery.