There are several treatment options available for diabetic eye disease, including conditions such as Clinically Significant Macular Edema (CSME). Your ophthalmologist will be able to discuss these options with you in more detail.
Eye injections of anti-VEGF and steroid medications are the standard treatment approach for center-involving CSME (CSME located near the center-most area in the back of the eye). Vascular endothelial growth factor or VEGF is a protein that stimulates the formation of blood vessels. In cases of CSME, VEGF is over-stimulated and leads to the breakdown of the barrier between the retina and the blood, causing visual loss.1 Anti-VEGF injections aim to prevent this breakdown and can achieve good results. Repeated, ongoing eye injections are required, however.
1. Aiello LP, Avery RL, Arrigg PG, et al. Vascular endothelial growth factor in ocular fluid of patients with diabetic retinopathy and other retinal disorders. N Engl J Med. 1994;311(22):1480-7.
Also known as photocoagulation, conventional retinal laser therapy involves the application of laser energy to the retina (the back of your eye responsible for detailed vision) to stabilize vision. Although effective, photocoagulation has inherent risks including heat damage, which can result in scarring which deteriorates vision over time.
Unlike photocoagulation, which can cause permanent damage to the eye’s sensitive structures, 2RT™ uses 500 times less energy than conventional retinal laser therapy and eliminates the incidence of heat damage to the retina and surrounding cells in the effective treatment of CSME.
Performed in the operating room, this surgical procedure involves the permanent removal of the vitreous gel from the inside of the eye, which is subsequently replaced with fluid. This is only indicated in very selected, complicated cases of CSME.