The goal of any treatment for diabetic retinopathy is to slow or stop the progression of the disorder, and treatment for depends on the stage of the disease.
In the early stages of non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR), regular monitoring may be the only treatment. Following your eye doctor’s advice for diet and exercise and controlling blood sugar levels can help control the progression of the disease.
In some cases, your optometrists might need to inject medications into your eye, to decrease inflammation or stop the formation of new blood vessels.
Because diabetes is a serious, lifelong condition often leading to progressive deterioration of your body’s organs, including your eyes, it is important that you continually monitor the condition of your eyes with your optometrist.
If your condition progresses to proliferative diabetic retinopathy, (PDR), more aggressive treatments may be advised by your optometrists, and he or she will refer you to a specialist, who may perform one or more of these procedures:
- Laser surgery (photocoagulation), to seal leaking blood vessels or to discourage other blood vessels from leaking
- Vitrectomy, a surgery to remove and replace the gel-like fluid in the back of your eyes, called the vitreous.
- Retinal surgery, to repair a retinal detachment.