Diabetic Retinopathy Treatments

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of long-standing diabetes mellitus caused by persistently raised or uncontrolled blood sugar levels. Adequate control of blood sugar and other risk factors such as high blood pressure can significantly delay or even prevent the progression of diabetic retinopathy.

Early stage retinopathy

During this stage of diabetic retinopathy, there are often no symptoms and no specific treatment is required. Instead, regular checkups with an ophthalmologist or eye disease specialist who can monitor the progression of the retinopathy is advised. Maintaining rigid control of blood sugar also decreases the risk of disease progression as does control of blood pressure. Cessation of any smoking habit is also recommended as smoking may increase the risk of damage to the microvessels in the eye.

Stage two retinopathy

In this stage, routine eye screening is recommended as the formation of new blood vessels that are brittle and prone to rupture occurs during this stage. There is therefore an increased risk of blood leaking into the retina and blurring vision.

Stages three retinopathy

This more advanced stage of retinopathy typically involves bleeding from microanuerysms and newly formed blood vessels, which causes blurred vision. In addition, there may be involvement of a highly sensitive part of the eye responsible for central vision called the macula. Treatment at this stage may involve:

Laser treatment

High energy light beams or laser beams are used to coagulate the tissue in leaky blood vessels. The laser beam is directed into the eyes after numbing them with a local anesthetic and the laser beam seals the damaged blood vessels, preventing further leakage.

Intravitreal anti-VEGF injections

These injections are used in the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. These medications prevent the growth of new blood vessels within the retina.

Stage four retinopathy

Stage four retinopathy describes advanced disease that has caused vision loss. A procedure called viterectomy may be performed to remove part or the whole of the vitreous humor, the transparent jelly-like material that lies within the eyeball behind the lens and in front of the retina. This surgery is useful when there is massive bleeding from the retina or in the case of retinal detachment.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Feb 26, 2019

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

Citations

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2019, February 26). Diabetic Retinopathy Treatments. News-Medical. Retrieved on June 27, 2019 from https://www.news-medical.net/health/Diabetic-Retinopathy-Treatments.aspx.

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "Diabetic Retinopathy Treatments". News-Medical. 27 June 2019. <https://www.news-medical.net/health/Diabetic-Retinopathy-Treatments.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "Diabetic Retinopathy Treatments". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Diabetic-Retinopathy-Treatments.aspx. (accessed June 27, 2019).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2019. Diabetic Retinopathy Treatments. News-Medical, viewed 27 June 2019, https://www.news-medical.net/health/Diabetic-Retinopathy-Treatments.aspx.

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
Post a new comment
Post
You might also like... ×
TGen-UNM consortium awarded NIH grant to discover new treatments for diabetic blindness