Diabetic Retinopathy is a deterioration of the retinal blood vessels which may cause leaking into the center of the retina, otherwise known as macular edema. Abnormal retinal vessels may grow, which can lead to retinal detachments and intraocular hemorrhages. Patients with diabetes mellitus are at an increased risk of developing eye diseases that can lead to vision loss and blindness, such as diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma. The longer a patient has diabetes mellitus, the likelihood of developing diabetic retinopathy increases.
In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy there may be little or no visual symptoms. If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy may cause visual loss and depending on the progression, even blindness. Early detection and treatment are essential in the prevention of permanent damage to the retina. For this reason, it is important for diabetic patients to have a dilated eye exam at least once every year. Blood glucose and blood pressure control are imperative to reduce diabetic retinopathy.
Laser photocoagulation is the standard treatment for diabetic retinopathy. This treatment has been proven to reduce the risk of both moderate and severe visual loss due to diabetic retinopathy and can be performed in doctor Galiani’s office. It is important for patients to realize that these procedures cannot reverse the damage of diabetic retinopathy, but rather help slow its progression and reduce the risk of further visual loss for patients with advanced cases of the condition.