Advancements in Treating Diabetic Eye Disease

October 5th, 2021

If you have diabetes, you are more prone to develop certain eye conditions than those without diabetes. It’s extremely important to visit our eye doctors in the Phoenix metro area for regular checkups.

To safeguard your eye health, you can trust Swagel Wootton Eye Institute’s eye doctors in Mesa and Chandler, who will check for any irregularities, including the following conditions:

  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Cataracts
  • Macular edema
  • Glaucoma

Don’t let diabetes rob you of your vision when help is moments away.

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common vision problem for those with diabetes. There are two major forms of the disease, as follows:

  • Early/non-proliferative: In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, the blood vessels in your retina grow weak and leak blood and fluid. This causes swelling and constriction of the blood vessels.
  • Advanced/proliferative: In the more advanced stages, you grow new blood vessels, but they are weak and prone to leakage. This can cause scar tissue to form in the retina and may lead to retinal detachment.

Our eye doctors in Mesa and Chandler offer several treatments for diabetic retinopathy.

Treatment and Advances

There are some exciting advances in treatment for diabetic retinopathy, including the following:

  • Artificial intelligence can now detect damage caused by diabetes. Early diagnosis can help eye care specialists in the Phoenix metro area provide treatment and save your vision. AI systems Compare photographs of your eyes to thousands of other pictures to determine if you have diabetic retinopathy. Two of these systems have been approved by the FDA: the IDx-DR and the EyeArt AI Screening System. These systems are fast, self-learning and extremely accurate.
  • Anti-VEGF medications such as Eylea, Avastin, and Lucentis slow down blood vessel breakage and swelling resulting from high blood sugar. However, this treatment requires 12 injections per year. Gene therapy and port delivery systems may soon replace this inconvenient treatment. Scientists hope to perfect gene therapy treatment that will allow you to create your own anti-VEGF medicine. Two different methods are in clinical 2 trials and may be available in the next several years. A port delivery system requires a surgically inserted device to store and release the medication. The port system could be as small as a grain of rice. It’s currently in phase three trials.

What Is Diabetic Macular Edema?

Sometimes, those with diabetes develop macular edema, which are microaneurysms or tiny bulges that protrude from blood vessels in your eye. They can leak blood and fluid into your retina and cause edema or swelling in the macula, the center of your retina. Left untreated, this can cause problems with your vision and may even lead to blindness.

Treatment and Advances

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is created naturally inside your cells. Studies show that a type of medicine called anti-VEGF can block your body signals and prevent the abnormal growth of blood vessels in your eye. This can slow down vision loss and some patients may even see an improvement in vision. However, it currently only works on one out of every three patients.

When you meet with our eye care specialists in the Phoenix metro area, you will receive information about all treatment methods approved by the FDA that might help your specific case.

What Are Diabetic Cataracts?

Diabetic cataracts are caused by high sugar content in the fluid that lubricates your eye. Excess sugar can stick to the lens and create white spots called cataracts.

Treatment and Advances

There are always new advances developing in laser-assisted cataract surgery. Our eye doctors specialize in cataract and LASIK surgery in Mesa and Chandler. We have some of the most advanced equipment and techniques available in the area. So, set up a consultation with one of our eye doctors to find out if you were a good candidate for laser cataract surgery.

What is Diabetic Glaucoma?

Neovascular glaucoma describes a condition in which the angle of the eye between the cornea and the iris narrow due to the excess growth of blood vessels. Our eye doctors in Mesa and Chandler can run a series of tests to determine if you have glaucoma. If so, we’ll discuss surgical and nonsurgical treatments available and recommend the best options for someone with diabetes.

Treatment and Advances

According to the Glaucoma Foundation, minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries (MIGS) are becoming more prevalent. MIGS require less recovery time than traditional glaucoma surgery options. Also, researchers are working on developing ports that will automatically release medication to keep eye pressure under control. This would replace the drops that those with glaucoma currently must take.

Contact us today to make an appointment with one of our eye care specialists in the Phoenix metro area.