Treatment options for Diabetic Retinopathy
In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, the blood vessels in the eye leak, causing swelling of the retina. For decades, this swelling has been treated with retinal laser, which has been shown to slow the progression of vision loss. Recently, ophthalmologists have also been injecting anti-leakage medicines into the eye. These medicines include steroids such as triamcinolone acetate and anti-vascular endothelial growth factors (anit-VEGF) such as bevacizumab or ranibizumab. In combination with laser, these injections have been shown to reduce retinal swelling and improve vision loss. Some of these medicines have side-effects, however, so the decision to receive an injection should be discussed with your doctor.
The Bascom Palmer advantage
The 30 clinical faculty members at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute have accumulated years of clinical experience in the management of diabetic retinopathy. Drs. Harry Flynn and William Smiddy have been active in diabetic retinopathy clinical studies for more than 18 years. At the request of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Drs. Flynn and Smiddy organized a 350-page monograph titled Diabetes and Ocular Disease: Past, Present and Future Therapies. Diabetic patients also have a number of non-retinal abnormalities including increased rates of cataract, glaucoma, ocular muscle abnormalities, corneal diseases, and susceptibility to infection. The faculty at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute are familiar with these potential complications and have experience in the management of these problems when they occur.