PERFORMED IN DULUTH, GA (NORTH OF ATLANTA) at Georgia Eye Physicians & Surgeons
Diabetic retinopathy is a progressive eye disease in the retina of patients suffering from diabetes that, if left untreated, can lead to severe vision loss. While diabetic retinopathy cannot be cured, there are numerous treatments available to slow its progression; however, the best tool for patients is prevention. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by controlling blood sugar levels, dieting and regularly exercising are initial steps to help reduce long-term, irreversible damage to your eyes.
If a patient has a more progressive case of diabetic retinopathy, there are laser treatments that can help prevent the disease from worsening. A common procedure known as photocoagulation is an in-office, outpatient procedure performed under anesthetic eye drops and uses a precise laser to create tiny burns near the macula. The laser treatment addresses existing and new abnormal blood vessels by sealing off the ends to reduce further leaking of blood and fluids into the retina, causing them to shrink and disappear over time. While vision loss caused by diabetic retinopathy at times cannot be reversed with laser treatment, regular follow-up exams are necessary to monitor the progression of the disease and prevent worsening that may require more than one treatment.
For patients with more advanced stages of diabetic retinopathy who will not benefit solely from photocoagulation, a vitrectomy is required to treat substantial blood leakage within the eye. Performed in a hospital under local or general anesthesia, a small incision is made in the sclera, or white of the eye, and blood and scar tissue is removed from the vitreous. Once the blood-filled vitreous is removed, a clear saline solution is replaced into the eye to maintain the normal contour of the eye. A vitrectomy can also be performed before, or in conjunction with laser surgery to address other eye diseases and conditions.
To learn more about diabetic retinopathy or other eye disease treatments at Georgia Eye Physicians & Surgeons, please contact us today to schedule a consultation.