Diabetic Eye Treatments Could Include Monitoring, Medications, Laser Treatments, Or Surgery

When you have diabetes, it's important to see your eye doctor so the doctor can monitor or treat the changes that happen to your eyes due to diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy is a common complication of diabetes that could result in blindness if the condition isn't managed. Here are some diabetic eye treatments your doctor might consider depending on how severe your condition is and your age.

Frequent Monitoring

In the very early stages, your eye doctor might just want to watch your condition. You may need to go to the eye doctor every few months to have your eyes checked. When the doctor notices changes, they may recommend medical treatment. During this time, you'll want to manage your diabetes with medications and diet to keep your blood sugar under control. Avoiding high blood sugar might reduce the risk of eye complications.

Eye Medications

When your diabetic eye condition warrants it, your doctor might give you medications by injection in your eyes. Your eye is numbed first, so the procedure isn't painful. If you have swelling, the doctor might give you an injection with a small needle that contains a corticosteroid to reduce swelling.

Other medications your doctor may try are designed to decrease fluid in your eye and stop unnatural blood vessel growth. You may need to have these injections periodically for the long term. These are given alone or with laser treatments.

Laser Treatments

Laser treatments are a diabetic eye treatment that reduces bleeding and shrinks abnormal blood vessels in your eye. These treatments can be taken in the eye clinic in one or more sessions. The treatments can cause blood vessels to scar and then shrivel so they no longer leak blood into your eye. These treatments could potentially cause you to lose color vision and peripheral vision, but your central vision could be saved.


In some cases, surgery might be needed. The doctor can remove blood buildup, abnormal vessels, and scar tissue that's affecting your retina. The surgery might be done with local or general anesthesia. You'll probably just have one eye done at a time since you'll need to wear an eye patch for a while after the operation.

Once you start diabetic eye treatment, you'll need frequent eye checks to make sure the treatment is effective. If not, the eye doctor may need to try a different approach. The treatments may not reverse your diabetic eye disease, but they can slow down its progression to help you avoid severe vision loss or blindness.

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