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We take a look at the condition, its symptoms and the treatments that are available.
Diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular oedema typically have no early warning signs until they start affecting vision. As diabetic retinopathy progresses, common symptoms may include:
If you have diabetes, we can arrange an appointment for you to visit a leading consultant ophthalmologist who specialises in diabetic eye diseases. They can closely assess your condition and advise you about the procedures that would be appropriate for you.
Lasers can be used to treat new blood vessels at the back of the eye caused by diabetic retinopathy. These weak, abnormal blood vessels might be causing blood to seep into the eye.
You will be given a local anaesthetic and your surgeon will focus a laser onto your retina to carry out the treatment. It should help to stabilise your condition and prevent your sight from getting worse.
Injections of medicines that stop blood vessels forming, known as anti-VEGF drugs, can be used to treat diabetic macular oedema. Steroid injections might also be used instead of anti-VEGF injections, or if they do not help.
Your eye will be numbed and you will lie back on a couch, then a very thin needle will be used to administer the medicine. Your ophthalmologist will let you know how often you will need to attend appointments for your injections.
Surgery is most likely to be recommended if a large amount of blood has collected in your eye, or if there is a lot of scar tissue that is likely to cause or has already caused your retina to detach.
Your surgeon will make a small slit in your eye and remove some of the excess transparent, jelly-like substance along with scar tissue.