Diabetes & Eye: Frequently Asked Questions

December 20, 2023

1. Why do I need to check my retina? My eye sight is completely normal and my diabetes is under control then why should I check?

Diabetic Retinopathy is a silent painless disease of the retina. It does not cause vision problems until late in the stage of the disease. Therefore it is always necessary for a diabetic patient to check his/her retina. Just changing spectacles is not sufficient.

2. How often should I check my Retina if I am a diabetic?

At least once every year. If Diabetic Retinopathy is detected then 4 – 6 monthly or as advised by the doctor.

3. My doctor has suggested me laser treatment. Should I be worried?

Laser has been the most reliable, safe and time-tested modality of treatment and gives good results when done at the right time and stage of the disease.

4. Is Retinal Laser and LASIK Treatment the same? Does vision worsen or improve after laser treatment?

Many people confuse retinal laser for LASIK Treatment (for spectacle correction). Both are different. Retinal laser treatment is done for an eye with Retinal disease. It is done to save the vision and the eye from harmful effects of diabetes. The vision may fluctuate initially after retinal laser treatment but soon it will stabilize.

5. Can I Become blind after laser treatment?

It is a common misconception which people have that Laser treatment has caused damage to their eye sight. As I have already mentioned previously, laser is the best form of treatment when done early and at the right stage of the disease. The advanced stages of diabetic Retinopathy cannot be treated with laser alone and will require surgery in the form of vitrectomy.

It should be understood that more advanced the disease, delay in treatment can cause patients to lose their vision permanently.

6. My neighbour underwent cataract surgery and his vision recovered completely but my vision is still blurry following retinal surgery. Please explain.

Retinal surgery is not the same as cataract surgery. Retinal surgery is done in a diseased retina, the results depends on the stage of the disease, amount of damage present and the vitality of the nerve.

7. I am confused about injections for the eye? What is it for?

Injections are mainly 2 types Anti VEGF and Steroids. Depending on the swelling in the retina we decide which injection is suited for you. Injections bring down the swelling in the retina. They are very useful, safe and needs to be repeated monthly if required.

8. Do you recommend surgery for Diabetic retinopathy?

Surgery has to be done when the stage of retinopathy has advanced and not amenable to laser. Its called pars plana vitrectomy. It is a key hole surgery with 0.5 mm incision size. With the advancement in technology the present generation machines are very safe and efficient giving very predictable and good results following surgery. Once again, I would like to mention that best surgical outcome is obtained early in the stage of disease.

• Early detection and treatment is the key.
• Prevention is mainly dependent on having a good control of one’s blood sugar, Blood pressure, Kidney Parameters, etc.
• It is the patients’ responsibility to get his/her retina checked at least once in a year if he/she is a diabetic.
• Do not let it progress to such a stage that it become difficult for us to restore your sight.

Email: nameethdsouza@yahoo.com

Website: www.mangaloreretinacare.com




By Dr Nameeth D’Souza
Dr Nameeth D’Souza is a Vitreo Retinal Surgeon and a Diabetic Retinopathy specialist. He has been practicing the latest medical and surgical treatment for Retinal diseases. He is available at Mangalore Retina Care. (C/o Falnir Clinic, Don Bosco Hall Cross Road, Falnir, Phone – 0824 2422167, 2422166)
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