If you have diabetes, you know your body's inability to properly use and store sugar affects your health. You may also know that having diabetes can damage the blood vessels in your eyes. This damage can lead to diabetic retinopathy-the leakage of fluids or bleeding in the back of the eye. The macula is near the center of the retina and determines the quality of the images you see. When fluid leaks into the macula it causes the retina to swell and form deposits called "exudates". This is known as macular edema, or non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy, or NPDR. Weak blood supply can allow abnormal blood vessels to grow, causing bleeding or scarring that can greatly reduce vision. This is called proliferative diabetic retinopathy, or PDR.
All people with diabetes-both type 1 and type 2-are at risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. And, the longer someone has had diabetes, the higher the risk. Other risk factors include:
There are medications, as well as non-invasive and surgical laser treatments for diabetes-related vision problems. Most laser and non-laser treatments for diabetic eye disease depend on the severity of the eye changes.
There are non-invasive and non-surgical options for preventing or treating diabetic eye disorders. Controlling your blood sugar and high blood pressure are two of the best things you can do to protect your eye health.
Medical Injection Therapy: A treatment is medication injection therapy. It is used to treat macular edema-an eye disorder caused by diabetic retinopathy. Anti-vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (Anti-VEGF) is known to work well in slowing the growth of blood vessels and reducing macular edema.
Anti-VEGF drugs target a chemical in the eye called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) that plays a key role in blood vessel abnormalities in the retina. An anti-VEGF drug can help treat macular edema by blocking the VEGF chemical, which slows their leakage in the eye. Anti-VEGF can also help reduce the growth of abnormal blood vessels.
DeHaven performs medication injection therapy in the office. An anesthetic is applied to numb the eye and a tiny needle is inserted into the eye to deliver the medication near the retina.