Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease. It affects 3 in 10 diabetics in Singapore. Diabetic retinopathy is a common complication of Diabetes Mellitus, where the small vessels of the retina (nerve layer) are affected. The blood vessels will swell and leak fluid or abnormal new blood vessels will grow on the retina.

Monitoring

In the early stage of diabetic retinopathy where there are mild retinal changes, monitoring is carried out regularly.

Anti Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (Anti-VEGF) Therapy

These new and improved treatments may be used in eyes with macular oedema (swelling of the central retina). Injections of anti-VEGF medication, such as Lucentis (ranibizumab) and Eylea (aflibercept) into the eye, can help to reduce the swelling, reduce the severity of diabetic retinopathy and improve vision.

Laser Treatments

In the more advanced stages of the disease, Laser Pan-Retinal Photocoagulation (PRP) treatment is recommended to slow down the progression and prevent loss of vision. A focal laser is used to reduce swelling by treating the macular oedema. These laser treatments will stop the growth of abnormal new blood vessels.

Diabetic Eye Surgery

In severe cases, such as when there is severe bleeding into the eye or retinal detachment, surgery like a vitrectomy may be required to remove blood that has leaked into the eye or reattach the retina. This helps to control and stabilise eyes with severe proliferative diabetic eye disease.

Determine the Best Possible Treatment With Early Diabetic Eye Screening

Most people, including diabetics themselves, are unaware that diabetes can affect the eyes. A majority of those with diabetic eye disease goes undetected and untreated. Diabetic eye screening is very useful in picking up the disease early so that the best possible treatment for the patient may be started.