Diabetic retinopathy is a diabetes complication that affects eyes. It’s caused by damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina). At first, diabetic retinopathy might cause no symptoms or only mild vision problems, but it can lead to blindness. The condition can develop in anyone who has type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The longer you have diabetes and the less controlled your blood sugar is, the more likely you are to develop this eye complication.
Your treatment will depend on what kind of retinopathy you have and how severe it is. Dr. Huggett and his team will work with you to maximize your remaining vision.
Controlling Blood Sugar
Controlling your blood sugar and blood pressure can stop vision loss. Carefully follow the diet your nutritionist has recommended. Take the medicine your diabetes doctor prescribed for you.
One type of medication is called anti-VEGF medication. These include Avastin, Eylea, and Lucentis. Anti-VEGF medication helps to 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.
Laser surgery might be used to help seal off leaking blood vessels. This can reduce swelling of the retina. Laser surgery can also help shrink blood vessels and prevent them from growing again. Sometimes more than one treatment is needed.