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Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy 

What will the Ophthalmologist do to treat it?

Very early changes require only observation.

When the blood sugar is well controlled, the eye changes are slow to occur, but still do occur after certain years of diabetes.

Laser -

Argon / Diode laser is used to apply small burns on the retina. This-

Prevents the vessels from bleeding,
Improves the oxygen supply to the retina, 
Therefore prevents new vessel growth, bleeding and  other complications.
Prevents Neovascular Glaucoma.



The patient puts dilating drops in both eyes.

Fluorescein Angiography may be done on the same day or prior to the laser day. 

Local anesthetic drops are instilled. 

Patient sits on the Laser machine, which looks similar to the slit-lamp. The chin is to be rested on the machine. 

The surgeon places a special lens on the eye. The patient looks ahead with his eye open. A bright light is seen.

He usually feels no pain, only hears a clicking sound of the laser. 

It takes at least 20 minutes sitting. More sittings will be required to completely laser both eyes.

Follow ups are necessary.


Are there any side effects?

The person's visual field decreases minimally, but that is not debilitating. He may feel that colours appear less bright. Apart from these minor effects, no major side effects occur.

What is done for a Vitreous haemorrhage?

It can be observed, till it slowly clears. Rest is advised.

The other option is surgery, called Vitrectomy.

In this, all the blood is removed from the vitreous, with special instruments. Laser may be done on the operation table, to prevent recurrent bleeds.

Laser is usually required for the other eye also and is done at a later date, but soon, since the risk of a similar event in other eye is high.




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