(photocoagulation) can be an effective treatment for
diabetic retinopathy. But it does not cure the
disease. It can prevent, delay, and sometimes reverse vision loss. Without
either laser treatment or surgery, vision loss caused by diabetic retinopathy
and its complications may get worse until blindness occurs. So early treatment
is vital to slowing vision loss, which can happen quickly.
diabetic retinopathy causes bleeding (hemorrhage) into the
vitreous gel, extensive scar tissue formation, or
retinal detachment, surgical removal of the vitreous
gel (vitrectomy) may be needed before laser treatment is considered.
When you have diabetes, it can feel like your daily to-do list is endless. You're tracking your blood sugars, medications, diet, and exercise.
That can be a lot to take care of every day. It can make you feel burned out.
"When you have a chronic illness, everybody wants a day off from that, or a week or a month off," says David Spero, RN, author of Diabetes: Sugar-Coated Crisis.
But you can't do that with diabetes. So how do you avoid diabetes burnout and keep a positive mindset?
Some days will...
Unfortunately, by the time some people are diagnosed with diabetic
retinopathy, it is often too late for treatment to provide much benefit. Even
with treatment, vision will continue to decline.
of retinopathy through dilated eye exams can provide the opportunity to have
laser treatment when it is most effective.
Other treatment choices
Laser photocoagulation uses the heat
from a laser to seal or destroy abnormal, leaking blood vessels in the
retina. It can cause the abnormal, weak blood vessels to shrink.
Some anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) medicines, such as ranibizumab (Lucentis), can help treat macular edema from diabetic retinopathy.
What to think about
laser treatment is used to treat several spots on the retina during one or,
most often, two sessions. It reduces the risk of serious bleeding and the
progression of severe proliferative retinopathy.
Laser photocoagulation can result in some loss of vision,
because it destroys some of the nerve cells in the retina and can cause the abnormal blood vessels to go away. With pan-retinal
photocoagulation, this most often affects the outside (peripheral) vision,
because the laser is directed at that area. Your vision may be worse right
after treatment. But vision loss caused by laser treatment is mild compared
with the vision loss that may be caused by untreated retinopathy.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
June 04, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this