It is critical for all patients with diabetes to have regular eye exams. Early and aggressive treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy helps maintain vision and also prevents severe vision loss.
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. These include: controlling blood pressure, not smoking, reducing dietary fat consumption to lower cholesterol and triglycerides, and exercising regularly.
Proliferative Retinopathy & Laser Treatment
A Retinal Laser Photocoagulation procedure called, Scatter Laser Treatment, treats Proliferative Retinopathy by shrinking abnormal blood vessels. We will place approximately 1,000 to 2,000 laser spots in the Retina, causing the abnormal blood vessels to shrink. Since Scatter Laser Treatment requires a large number of laser spots, two or more sessions may be performed to complete the laser treatment. Sometimes, patients who have had Scatter Laser Photocoagulation will experience loss of their peripheral vision, loss of night vision, as well as 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 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
Two types of Retinal Laser Photocoagulation procedures treat Diabetic Macular Edema: Focal Laser Treatment and Grid Laser Treatment. Focal Laser treatment closes leaking microaneurysms in a limited area. Grid Laser treatment treats a more general swelling in the Macula. With both treatments, 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, as well as 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. 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. Lost vision improves in a small number of cases.
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.
To learn more about Diabetic Retinopathy at The Eye Center, click the links below:
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or are glucose intolerant, you should have a thorough diabetic eye examination at The Eye Center at 303-777-5455.