Diabetic Retinopathy Laser Treatment - Media, PA
Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease that can affect patients with diabetes. This condition occurs as a result of high blood sugar levels that damage the blood vessels in your retina. When these blood vessels become damaged, it can cause blurred vision, dark or blind spots, and decreased night vision capabilities.
At Infinity Retina, Dr. A'sha Brown has specialized experience in providing diagnoses and treatment options for diabetic retinopathy. Dr. Brown may recommend diabetic retinopathy laser treatment for your condition, a procedure designed to shrink the blood vessels in your eye that are causing vision problems and improve the overall quality of your vision. Dr. Brown will work directly with you to discuss a treatment plan that you can feel comfortable and confident about moving forward.
FAQs on Diabetic Retinopathy:
What is diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy is a disease that affects the eyes of patients with diabetes. If you are diabetic and become hyperglycemic (have high blood sugar), this can damage the blood vessels in your retina, causing them to either leak, clog, or grow abnormally. Any of these changes to these veins can have a detrimental effect on your vision.
What are the stages of diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy occurs in two stages:
- NPDR (non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy), which is the earliest stage and the most common in patients with diabetes. This occurs when small blood vessels leak and your retinas swell, causing macular edema and blurred vision. In some cases, the blood vessels actually close, which prevents blood from reaching the macula and affects your vision.
- PDR (proliferative diabetic retinopathy), which is the advanced stage that occurs when your retina grows new, abnormal, fragile blood vessels. When these blood vessels swell and bleed, they can result in floaters, or even a loss of all vision. Eventually, these vessels will form scar tissue, which can lead to issues such as a detached retina or macular degeneration. This can eventually result in the full loss of your peripheral vision.
What are the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy?
In early stages of diabetic retinopathy, you may not even notice any particular symptoms, which is why it’s so important to schedule regular appointments with your ophthalmologist if you are living with diabetes. Once diabetic retinopathy has progressed, you may begin to notice the following symptoms:
- Blurred vision, constant or intermittent
- Dark or blind spots in your field of vision
- Seeing desaturated (washed-out) colors
- Decreased night vision capabilities
- Gradually increasing number of floaters or spots
If diabetic retinopathy is causing these changes in your vision, it will most likely affect both eyes.
What is the best diabetic retinopathy treatment?
When Dr. Brown examines your eyes, she will be able to help you determine the best course of action to stop the progress of diabetic retinopathy. Some of the most common treatments we provide at Infinity Retina include:
- Controlling blood sugar and blood pressure. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you likely have a medical and nutritional regimen in place to control your blood sugar and keep your blood vessels healthy. Adhering to a strict routine and practicing good blood sugar control is essential to healthy eyes, and may even help restore your vision after symptoms of diabetic retinopathy appear.
- Anti-VEGF medication. Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) medications can help reduce swelling in the blood vessels in your macula, which will slow the progress of diabetic retinopathy and may also improve vision. Dr. Brown will administer this treatment through an injection into the eye.
Each patient is unique, and Dr. Brown will work directly with you to determine the treatment plan that suits your needs best.