Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic Retinopathy - Park Avenue Laser Vision - Eye Institute - Dr. Robert Ditkoff-New York Astoria

What Is diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetes is a disease that affects blood vessels throughout the body; when the blood vessels in the eye are affected, it is called diabetic retinopathy. There are two types of diabetic retinopathy: proliferative and non-proliferative.

The retina is a multi-layered tissue in the back of the eye that detects visual stimuli and transmits signals to the brain. When the retina’s blood vessels are damaged due to diabetes, they may leak fluid or blood or promote scar tissue, reducing the ability of the retina to detect and transmit images. The fluctuations of blood sugar that many diabetics experience can cause occasional blurring of vision, impaired night vision, and difficulty reading. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among adults in the United States.

Treating diabetic retinopathy
Laser photocoagulation, a procedure in which a surgeon uses a laser to coagulate tissue, treats retinal hemorrhages and swelling by sealing off leaking blood vessels. When used to treat diabetic macular edema, this painless procedure takes about five minutes, and the patient can resume regular activities following treatment.

If they receive prompt treatment, most patients with significant diabetic retinopathy can avoid substantial vision loss. Because early detection is important, diabetics should have a dilated eye exam at least once a year.