Often, first-stage diabetic retinopathy requires no active treatment on the eye but requires stabilisation of diabetes and regular eye examinations. With progressive retinopathy, a laser treatment called the PRP laser can be used. This works by shrinking enlarged blood vessels to prevent further bleeding into the retina. Severe bleeding may require a surgical procedure called a vitrectomy, where blood is surgically removed from the eye.
Treatment of macular oedema, if present, is by focal laser treatment or intravitreal injection. Vision is stabilised by reducing the degree of fluid leakage into the retina. Often more than one treatment is required.
What can I do?
Once diagnosed with diabetes have your eyes checked, then re-check every 2 years. This can be done by:
- hospital diabetic retinopathy photographic screening (GP or ophthalmologist can refer you to Northland Hospital screening program)
- private ophthalmologist.
Maintain good blood sugar levels.
More information can be found at: Save Sight Society