Retinopathy treatments

Submitted by Thiruvelan on Thu, 06/24/2010

During the first three stages of retinopathy, you need no treatment, unless you have macular edema. The most common retinopathy treatment is laser surgery.

To prevent retinopathy progression, diabetes people should control their levels of blood-glucose, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol.

Retinopathy and Macular edema treatments

The most-used retinopathy treatment is focused laser surgery, scattered laser surgery and your doctor may suggest vitreous surgery or vitrectomy if needed.

Laser surgery

Laser’s treatment, can be done as an outpatient procedure. Before laser treatment, use eye drops to dilate pupils and numb the eye to prevent discomfort.

During laser treatment, the lights in the clinic will be dimmed and holding a special lens to your eyes. You may see flashes of light during treatment. After treatment, your vision is little blurry for rest of the day due to eye drop and laser treatment. Therefore, you might need someone to drive you back.

Laser’s treatment can be useful to treat both macular edema and proliferative diabetic retinopathy. You might require laser surgery more than once to control the leaking fluid. Laser treatment seals leaking vessels to stabilize the vision and prevent any further visual loss.

Scatter laser treatment

Instead of focus the laser light on a single spot, hundreds, and thousands of small lasers that burns away and shrinks the fragile abnormal blood vessels. You might lose some of your side vision after this treatment just to save the rest of your sight. Laser surgery may also slightly reduce your color and night vision.

Laser’s treatments do not improve the vision; it only stabilizes it and avoids any further loses of vision.

Vitreous surgery - Vitrectomy

Vitreous surgery is a microsurgery developed in recent years, which now enables eye surgeons to treat patients with diseases of the retina.

The vitreous is a watery gel that fills the eye from the lens back to the retina. Normal vitreous is very clear and allows the light from the front of the eye to reach the retina undisturbed. Retina is a thin layer of nerve tissue that lines the back of the eye. It receives light signals from the eye and sends them to the brain so that vision can occur. The small important area of the retina called the macula, which is responsible for the fine visual tasks (i.e. reading vision). The rest of the retina provides peripheral (side view) and night vision.

When the vitreous gel mixes with blood or scar tissue most commonly caused by retinopathy, the incoming light cannot reach the retina and partial decrease in vision.

Vitrectomy procedure is performing with local anesthesia (means you will know the things happen around you during the operation). This surgery is done only in selected patients who have developed a very advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy, not only do they have a risk of bleeding but also carry a significant risk of retinal detachment.
Vitreous surgery is performing under a microscope; tiny instruments introduce into the eye through openings made to the side of the clear cornea. The instruments pass behind the iris and the lens into the vitreous cavity.

Remove and replace the cloudy vitreous with a special clear saline solution. In addition, cut and remove scar tissue in an attempt to relieve the pulling on the retina.