Using a Laser to Fight Diabetic Retinopathy

Laser Eye Treatment Retinopathy is defined as damage to the blood vessels of the retina, the layer at the back of the eyeball containing cells that are sensitive to light and that trigger nerve impulses that pass through the optic nerve to the brain, which then creates a visual image for the viewer. Diabetes, both type 1 and type 2, can cause retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and one of the leading causes of blindess in Americans. The eye disease affects the retina in two ways. In some people the blood vessels swell and leak fluid into the center of the eye. In others, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. To treat both of these conditions, at Mountain View Medical Center we use a laser to perform panretinal photocoagulation, colloquially known as scatter laser treatment. Although it sounds scary using a laser inside the eye, scatter laser treatment can save a person’s sight. In the procedure, 1,000 to 2,000 laser burns are made to the abnormal blood vessels. This causes them to shrink. Due to the number of laser burns required, two or more sessions are usually required for the treatment. Scatter laser treatment at Mountain View Medical can save the sight of the patient. There may be some loss of side vision with the procedure, and there may also be some reduction of color and night vision, but overall vision can be saved. Still, as with all eye conditions, the earlier we see the problem, the better. Why? Scatter laser treatment works best when used before the fragile, new blood vessels have started to bleed. A regular, comprehensive eye exam will show diabetic retinopathy. Call us at 907 328-2920 to schedule your new eye exam.
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