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Which Treatment Can Slow Down Diabetic Retinopathy?

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Both types of diabetes are linked to serious health concerns. This condition can take the form of wounds that cannot heal, nerve damage, or organ failure. Another condition associated with diabetes mellitus is diabetic eye damage or retinopathy. If not diagnosed and treated on time, the condition can advance to partial or total blindness. Patients should seek diabetic eye treatment as early as possible to reverse these effects. 

Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment Options

The treatment for retinopathy entails managing blood sugar levels to slow or stop the loss of vision. The treatment is customized depending on the kind of diabetic retinopathy and its severity. Here are several treatment options an eye doctor may consider to slow or stop the progression of the retinopathy and preserve the seeing capabilities you have left.

1. Early Retinopathy

If the eye doctor confirms you have moderate or mild non-proliferative retinopathy, they may not provide treatment immediately. But, they will assess the eyes to determine the best time to provide treatment. Exercise some patience when working with your doctor and follow the directions they offer on diabetes management. Adequate blood sugar control can slow its advancement if this condition is still mild.

2. Progressed Retinopathy

If you are diagnosed with macular edema or proliferative diabetic retinopathy, you will need treatment immediately. Some treatments the eye doctor will consider depending on the condition of your retina include:

Intravitreal Injections — Your eye has a gel-like fluid (vitreous humor) that fills the space between the lens and the retina. To deliver medication to the retina (at the back of the eye), the eye specialist will use a needle to inject the vitreous humor. This intravitreal injection will halt the development of new blood vessels and minimize fluid build-up. You may be given a sedative to ensure you stay calm during the procedure. 

Photocoagulation — This focal laser treatment slows or stops fluid and blood leakage in the eyes. The eye specialist will treat the abnormal and leaky blood vessels with laser burns in one single session. This treatment might not restore your normal vision if it was blurred due to macular edema before the procedure. Still, it will ensure that macular edema doesn't worsen and cause total vision loss.

Pan-Retinal Photocoagulation — This scatter laser treatment is used to shrink abnormal blood vessels in the eye. The eye specialist will focus scattered laser burns on areas that aren't close to the macula. This will cause the abnormal blood vessels to start shrinking and get scarred. The procedure is done in several sessions, and vision could blur afterward, but the results will be excellent.

To learn more about diabetic eye treatment, see this site or visit a local eye doctor for additional information.