Understanding Treatments for Diabetic Retinopathy

Understanding Treatments for Diabetic Retinopathy

There are several treatments for diabetic retinopathy:

Eye injections:

  • Swelling of the macula (macular edema) is the most common cause of vision loss in diabetics.
  • Eye injections are used to treat diabetic retinopathy and treat the swelling in the macula.
  • The primary eye injection medication used is an antibody to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).
    • There are several FDA approved medications that work by blocking this molecule (VEGF) in the eye.
    • Anti-VEGF eye injections help to reduce the blood vessel changes related to diabetes. It can improve swelling and bleeding in the eye, and in many patients stabilize and improve vision.

Laser treatment:

  • Retina laser is used sometimes in patients with advanced diabetic eye disease who have abnormal retinal vessels growing from the retina into the eye.
  • The laser treats the peripheral retina, reducing the risk of bleeding in the eye and retinal detachments secondary to these abnormal blood vessels.

Eye surgery “vitrectomy:”

  • In patients with bleeding in the eye that does not clear, eye surgery may be necessary to remove the blood.
  • Vitrectomy eye surgery may also be necessary in patients that have developed retinal detachment secondary to diabetic retinopathy.

Control diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol:

  • Continue to follow up with your primary care doctor or endocrinologist to ensure your diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol are well controlled.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The doctors at Retina Associates of Florida provide the latest diagnostic and treatments for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in their Tampa, Brandon and Lakeland offices.

The website/blog does not provide medical, professional, or licensed advice and are not a substitute for consultation with a health care professional.



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