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Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy at The Eye Center of Colorado in Denver

It is critical for all patients with diabetes to have regular eye exams since with early and aggressive treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy it is often possible to maintain vision and prevent severe vision loss.

The National Institutes of Health and the National Eye Institute have funded a number of large scale, multi-center, controlled studies that have produced clinical care guidelines for diabetic retinopathy used by the doctors at The Eye Center in Denver.

These include:

We use the results of these studies to guide patients in the treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy since with early treatment it is possible for patients with Diabetic Retinopathy to have only half the likelihood of losing vision as compared to those patients who fail to receive early treatment.

About Diabetic Laser Treatment

  • Nonproliferative Retinopathy & Laser Treatment
    During the early stages of Mild Nonproliferative Retinopathy, Moderate Nonproliferative Retinopathy and the beginning of Severe Nonproliferative Retinopathy, it is not likely that you will need Laser Treatment, unless you have Diabetic Macular Edema.

    However, in order to prevent the progression of Diabetic Retinopathy it is quite important to maintain good overall health. First, tight control of blood sugar levels is key for protecting the health of the small blood vessels. Patients should work to reduce any and all risk factors for vascular disease including controlling their blood pressure, not smoking, reducing dietary fat consumption to lower cholesterol and trigycerides and exercising regularly.

  • Proliferative Retinopathy & Laser Treatment
    Proliferative Retinopathy is treated with a Retinal Laser Photocoagulation procedure called “Scatter Laser Treatment”. The goal of Scatter Laser Treatment is to shrink abnormal blood vessels. We will place approximately 1,000 to 2,000 laser spots in areas of the Retina away from the Macula, causing the abnormal blood vessels to shrink. Since Scatter Laser Treatment requires a large number of laser spots, often it maybe necessary to use two or more sessions to complete the laser treatment.

    Sometimes patients who have had Scatter Laser Photocoagulation will experience some loss of their side or peripheral vision, some loss of night vision and a decrease in color vision. However, Scatter Laser Treatment is necessary to preserve the rest of your vision and stop the progression of the disease.

    Scatter Laser Treatment works best when it is applied before the fragile  new blood vessels have started to bleed. This is why it is critical to have regular, comprehensive dilated eye exams. Even when bleeding has started, Scatter Laser Treatment may still be possible, depending on the amount of bleeding.

  • Diabetic Macular Edema & Laser Treatment
    Diabetic Macular Edema is best treated with one of two types of Retinal Laser Photocoagulation procedures: “Focal Laser Treatment” and “Grid Laser Treatment. Focal Laser treatment is used to close leaking micro aneurysms in a limited area and Grid Laser treatment is used to treat a more general swelling in the Macula.

    With either Laser Treatment for Macular Edema, we will place as many as several hundred-laser spots in the areas of retinal leakage surrounding the Macula. These spots act to slow the leakage of fluid and reduce the amount of fluid in the Retina. It is usually possible to complete these Laser Treatments in one session, however depending on the results additional treatment may be necessary.

    You may need to have Laser Treatment for Macular Edema more than once to control the leaking fluid. If you have Macular edema in both eyes and require laser surgery, generally only one eye will be treated at a time, usually several weeks apart.

    Laser treatment of Diabetic Macular Edema works to stabilize vision. In fact, Laser Treatment may reduce the risk of vision loss by 50 percent. In a small number of cases, if vision is lost, it may be improved.

Diabetic Retinopathy is a common eye disease that affects a large number of patients with Diabetes Mellitus. With early detection and treatment, vision loss from Diabetic Retinopathy can be prevented. The Eye Center in Denver provides comprehensive diagnostic testing and treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy.

The Eye Center is conveniently located for patients needing an eye examination for Glaucoma from Denver, Aurora, Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Westminster, Commerce City, Englewood, Littleton, Sheridan, Cherry Hills Village, Northglenn, Broomfield and Greenwood Village. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or even if you are just glucose intolerant, you should have a thorough diabetic eye examination at The Eye Center in Denver, Colorado at 303-777-5455.

The Eye Center
2480 S. Downing Street, Suite 100
Denver, Colorado 80210

Office Hours: Monday-Thursday 8-5 Friday 8-4
Ph: (303) 777-5455
Fax: (303) 777-1175

©2012 The Eye Center of Colorado