Intensive control of the blood sugar
levels is the primary method of preventing diabetic retinopathy.
only way to delay the ocular complications of diabetes is to exercise the
tightest possible control of blood glucose. Therefore, the primary treatment for diabetic retinopathy is intensive control
of the diabetes.
In addition, blood
pressure and serum lipid levels should be kept normal
as far as possible.
There are two commonly used treatments for diabetic retinopathy are- Laser photocoagulation
- Severe macularedema and proliferative
retinopathyare treated with laser surgery, calledlaser photocoagulation. Laser
photocoagulation is a painless treatment in which a laser beam is aimed
through the eye to destroy any new blood vessels and seal off those that are
leaking. During the treatment, the patient may see bright flashes of light
and the vision might remain blurred for a few hours after the procedure. It
is quite possible to experience some discomfort in the eyes. People with
proliferative retinopathy may lose some side (peripheral) vision after this
surgery. Laser photocoagulation may also affect color and night vision. This
procedure is not a cure for diabetic retinopathy. It just prevents further
deterioration of vision, by preventing new blood vessels from leaking. Laser
surgery reduces by 90% the chances that a person with diabetes will become
Visual improvement is not guaranteed following the procedure.
Fluorescein angiography is used to plan laser treatment. Once the retinopathy
advances to the proliferative phase, it is very difficult to reverse the
- People with
proliferative retinopathy are always at risk for new bleeding. In cases with
extensive bleeding in the vitreous, an operation called a vitrectomy
may be required.
hollow of the eyeball is filled with a gel-like substance called the vitreous
humor, which helps give the eyeball its shape. Vitrectomy is often done under local anesthesia. With this procedure, the
doctor makes a small incision in the white part of the eye (sclera). A small
instrument is used to remove the cloudy vitreous and replace it with a
vitreous substitute. The eye will be red and sensitive right after the
procedure and the patient has to wear an eye patch for a short time to
protect the eye. The doctor also prescribes medicated eye drops to prevent
infection. Vision gradually improves after the vitrectomy, and the vitreous
humor is gradually replaced. Even people with advanced retinopathy have a
good chance of keeping their vision if it is treated before the retina is