Below, I discuss the diabetic retinopathy treatment options that are currently available. If you cannot watch the video, or would prefer to read the text, this is provided beneath the video.
What Treatments Are Available?
Diabetic retinopathy treatment is dependent on the part of the retina that’s affected as well as how it is affected. For instance, when a patient presents with macular oedema, this can be treated with laser, injections, and even observation. We also know from research findings that there are certain patches of leakage that don’t actually threaten vision and therefore they don’t pose a significant problem. When bleeding occurs into the vitreous, observation is often all that is needed. But if this bleeding keeps occurring, or if it begins to affect vision drastically, surgery is usually recommended. This surgery, which is known as a vitrectomy, results in the removal of vitreous material from the eye.
Laser Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment
Laser diabetic retinopathy treatment is available in two different types. The first type, which is the most common, treats leakage near the centre of the macula. By conducting a small number of spots of laser treatment near the centre, leakage can often be prevented from occurring. Sometimes, vision can also be significantly improved.
The other form of laser treatment available is known as scatter laser photocoagulation. This involves applying many spots of laser to the edge of the retina to either remove abnormal new vessels or to prevent their future growth. This laser diabetic retinopathy treatment is thought to work by killing spots of retina in the periphery that are usually not noticed in day-to-day vision. When these spots are killed, vascular endothelial growth factor amounts can be reduced, leading to a reduction in the drive to make new blood vessels grow.