Diabetic Retinopathy: New Treatment Options
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Diabetic Retinopathy: New Treatment Options

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause
of permanent vision loss among working age individuals in the United States. Currently there are excellent treatment options
available either commercially or in research trials. The Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research
Network is a network of retina specialists that are actively studying this disease in
research trials, and are working towards finding the newest and best treatments for blinding
complications of diabetes in the eye. Several newer imaging methods can non-invasively
and quickly detect retinal problems early in diabetic eyes. Office based laser procedures are commercially
available now and have been shown to reduce retinal swelling, and block the progression
of blood vessels that cause complications in diabetics. There are exciting new injectable medications
that block Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF), a molecule that leads to complications
in the retina. Currently the commercially available agents
include Bevacizumab, Ranibizumab and Aflibercept. These medications have excellent success rates
for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy and have saved vision in a lot of patients. Other experimental molecules are being tested
in clinical studies. There are newer steroid based implants that
can last a long time in the eye and maintain vision in diabetics. One of these implants can last up to 3 years
in the eye! If you want to learn more about these exciting
new treatments, make sure you schedule an appointment with your local eye care professional

About Bill McCormick

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