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What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is the major eye disease caused by diabetes. Diabetic Retinopathy VMR Institute Huntington Beach, CA 92647

While it can cause blindness, it rarely causes severe vision loss in those patients who seek timely evaluation and treatment.

At the VMR Institute, we offer the most modern diagnostic technologies to to detect disease early. We suggest regular visits so that we can treat right away and prevent blindness.

A complication of diabetes, diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. At the VMR Institute, we offer diabetic retinopathy treatment for our patients in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas.

There are two ways diabetes can cause loss of vision. The most common pathway involves swelling of the macula due to fluid leaking from the blood vessels of the retina that are damaged by diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes can cause the normal blood vessels within the retina to leak. If the leakage occurs in the macula, blurry vision develops.  The macula is the functional center of the retina and provides us with our sharpest vision to read and look straight ahead.

Less frequently, abnormal blood vessels start growing on the surface of the retina or other internal parts of the eye.  This “neovascularization” is the hallmark of “proliferative diabetic” retinopathy.  This is the potentially blinding stage of diabetic retinopathy.

Every patient with diabetes should be examined annually looking for signs of macular edema or proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

 

Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy can cause anything from slightly blurry vision to blindness.  Ideally, we desire to diagnose the disease while you are still 20/20.  Diabetic retinopathy can exist and cause no changes in vision, so you might have it and may not even know it!

Because diabetic retinopathy can go unnoticed for long periods of time, it is very important that those with a long history of diabetes, especially poorly-controlled diabetes, undergo diagnostic testing and regular examinations.

 

Treatments for Diabetic Retinopathy

Treatments for diabetic retinopathy are geared at limiting and then reversing swelling (macular edema), as well as preventing progression of, and bleeding from, the neovascularization.

Macular edema has long been treated with laser, but newer treatments involve injections of steroids, sustained release devices and anti-VEGF medications such as Lucentis, Eylea, and Avastin.

Treatment for proliferative diabetic retinopathy may involve similar injections of anti-VEGF, laser treatment and/or vitreo-retinal surgery.

 

Latest Diabetic Retinopathy Treatments

New tests are being developed at the VMR Institute for Vitreous Macular Retina, in collaboration with The Doheny Eye Institute/UCLA, CalTech in Pasadena, Columbia University, and Riverside Research in New York. These modern diagnostic tests available at VMR Institute give us the ability to detect diabetic retinopathy at its very early stages, allowing for quick treatment and preventing vision loss.

Please Contact our office to learn more about Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment in California.

 

J. Sebag, MD, FACS, FRCOphth, FARVO
Vitreo-Retinal Specialist
Huntington Beach, CA 92647

 
VMR Institute7677 Center Ave. #400
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
714.901.7777