Center for Sight

Comprehensive Eye Care Center

Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment with Injections & Laser

Depending on the stage of diabetic retinopathy and the potential for and the amount of vision loss, it is possible to treat, stabilize and often reverse the effects of the disease. Treatment of diabetic retinopathy can entail the use retinal laser photocoagulation treatment as well as intravitreal injections of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) Inhibitor drugs or other drugs. However, successful management of diabetic eye problems requires early diagnosis and treatment.

Dr. Kelly will review the results of your testing with you and make recommendations as to whether laser photocoagulation or perhaps Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) Inhibitor injections such as Lucentis® or Eyelea® offer the best course of treatment to prevent vision loss. Today, for most patients, VEGF inhibitor intravitreal injections such as Lucentis® or Eylea®, which are less destructive and safer than laser treatments, are considered as primary therapy for the management of vision-threatening complications of diabetic retinopathy such as diabetic macular edema (DME).

The National Institutes of Health and the National Eye Institute have funded a number of large scale, multi-center, controlled studies that have produced clinical care guidelines for Diabetic Retinopathy used by our physicians. These include:

Dr. Kelly uses the results of these studies to guide patients in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy since with early treatment it is possible for patients with diabetic retinopathy to have only half the likelihood of losing vision as compared to those patients who fail to receive early treatment. However, to prevent the progression of diabetic retinopathy it is quite important to maintain good overall health. First, rigid control of blood sugar levels is a key for protecting the health of the small blood vessels. Patients should work to reduce any and all risk factors for vascular disease including controlling their blood pressure, not smoking, reducing dietary fat consumption to lower cholesterol and triglycerides and exercising regularly.