Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is when diabetes damages the blood vessels in the retina, resulting in vision loss. The condition may start subtly–it may have no symptoms at all in early stages–but it can lead to blindness. All people with diabetes should have eye exams frequently to detect and treat the condition early.

If you have diabetes or have already been diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, we can provide treatment for the condition. Please call 504-887-7660 or email the Eye Surgery Center of Louisiana today to schedule an appointment at one of our New Orleans-area locations.

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

In patients with diabetes, blood vessels in the retina are affected, resulting in damage to the retina and vision loss.

In non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy, the small blood vessels at the back of the eye inflate, creating pouches that deform the retina. This can result in swelling under the macula, the highly sensitive area at the center of the retina, which can cause blurred vision or vision loss.

In proliferative diabetic retinopathy, weakened blood vessels in the retina close off and new blood vessels form. These new vessels scar the retina, which can deform or damage the retina and increase the risk of retinal detachment.

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in working-age men and women. You can learn more about the condition on our Questions about Diabetic Retinopathy page.

Preventing Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy can be increased by failure to control diabetes. To prevent damage to your eyes, follow your doctor’s instructions for managing your diabetes.

Diabetic retinopathy has no symptoms before vision loss begins. The only way to detect and treat diabetic retinopathy before vision loss occurs is to have regular eye exams.

Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment

Diabetic retinopathy treatment can be used to stop or slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy. We offer the following treatments:

  • Laser retina treatment – we perform both focal and scatter laser treatments to target specific problematic blood vessels and shrink abnormal blood vessels across the entire retina.
  • Medical retina treatment — we can use medications to reduce growth and leakage of abnormal blood vessels.
  • Vitrectomy – we can remove fluid from the eye that has been contaminated with blood, or is pulling on the retina. We may place a gas bubble or silicone oil in your eye if retinal detachment has occurred. Successful treatment protects your vision, but diabetes will continue to cause damage to the retina over time, resulting in further damage. Preventative care and treatment are essential in avoiding visual loss.

For diabetic retinopathy monitoring or treatment, please contact the Eye Surgery Center of Louisiana and schedule an appointment at one of our New Orleans-area locations.

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