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Is proliferative diabetic retinopathy treatable?

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There are many ways to treat proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Your doctor may target the retina with a special laser to shrink the new blood vessels. This can keep your vision better longer. The treatment works best if used before the fragile new vessels have started to bleed. If the damage to your blood vessels has worsened and they've already started to bleed, you may need a vitrectomy. This procedure takes out abnormal blood vessels from the inside of your eyeball. These fragile vessels can tear, causing bleeding in your eye. You may also need treatment to repair a detached retina or damaged macula caused by this new blood vessel growth.

SOURCES:

American Diabetes Association: "Eye Complications," "Eye Care."

National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse: "Keep Your Eyes Healthy," "Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stroke."

CDC: "2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet," "Take Charge of Your Diabetes," "Diabetes Health Concerns."

National Diabetes Education Program: "Guiding Principles for Diabetes Care," "4 Steps To Control Your Diabetes. For Life."

Smokefree.gov.

Reviewed by Alan Kozarsky on May 10, 2019

SOURCES:

American Diabetes Association: "Eye Complications," "Eye Care."

National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse: "Keep Your Eyes Healthy," "Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stroke."

CDC: "2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet," "Take Charge of Your Diabetes," "Diabetes Health Concerns."

National Diabetes Education Program: "Guiding Principles for Diabetes Care," "4 Steps To Control Your Diabetes. For Life."

Smokefree.gov.

Reviewed by Alan Kozarsky on May 10, 2019

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What is a vitrectomy and when might I need it if I have diabetes?

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