Laser treatments for retinopathy
Focal laser treatment
In this procedure, blood vessels are targeted with laser burns to seal any leaks that the blood vessels may be exposed to. A treatment called photocoagulation is also performed, to minimise any blood or fluid leakage from the eye. After this procedure you may experience hazy vision for 24 hours, but after that you should be able to see more clearly.
Scatter laser treatment
As the name suggests, in this treatment of 2–3 sessions, laser burns are scattered across the retina (away from the macula). The laser burns allow the blood vessels to shrink, thereby reducing chances of blood or fluid leakage.
Surgical treatments for retinopathy
This involves removing part of the vitreous tissue (the clear gel inside your eyeball). The ophthalmologist then places a clouded gel containing clear liquid or gas over your eye. Your eye absorbs the gel, and then your eye creates new vitreous tissue to replace the tissue removed.
The benefit of this procedure is that any blood that was present in the vitreous tissue and was tugging on the retina is removed. This helps strengthen the retina and allows its recovered blood vessels to absorb light again, resulting in clearer vision.
This procedure is performed under local or general anaesthetic, and it may take a few weeks until your vision is clear. You would have to wear an eye patch for a few days or weeks until you regain your eye strength and can see clearly again.
Regular eye examinations can help to spot the early signs of diabetic retinopathy and enable you to take action to control diabetes before it damages your eyes.