Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy

Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy

1. Laser Therapy

Advanced diabetic retinopathy is treated with laser. A laser is simply a very narrow concentrated beam of light.

What is involved?
Laser treatment may be carried out over several sessions and can be done in your doctor’s surgery. It usually takes about 15 minutes for each session.
During your treatment, you will sit at a machine similar to the one the eye doctor normally uses to examine your eyes. Your head will need to be still for the treatment.
You may or may not need time off work to complete the laser treatment. Driving your car may also be more difficult immediately after the laser session. Your sight may be worse for a few days or weeks after the laser, but it usually recovers fairly well. It is important to discuss this with your ophthalmologist prior to treatment.

2. Intravitreal (into the eye) Injection

The macula is responsible for central fine detailed vision. Diabetes can cause swelling of the macula and results in loss of vision. Treatment with anti-VEGF or steroid injections can reduce the visual loss.

What is anti-VEGF treatment?
Anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) treatments are a group of medicines that reduce new blood vessel growth or oedema (swelling). They are given by an injection into the eye to reduce the risk of scarring and damage to the retina caused by the swelling, which in turn can help to avoid further sight loss and for some people can improve the vision. Again, driving your car may also be more difficult immediately after the injection, particularly with the steroid (which may take a few days).