Chula Vista Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment
A significant number of people with diabetes develop diabetic retinopathy, a complication of the disease that affects the eyes. Diabetic retinopathy specifically damages the retina, or the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye that sends information to the brain. High levels of sugar in the blood damage the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina, causing them to swell and leak blood and fluid. Sometimes, new, abnormal blood vessels develop as well.
California Retina Associates offers comprehensive diabetic retinopathy treatment in Chula Vista and all surrounding Southern California areas. With the help of our team, you and other individuals diagnosed with the disease can protect your eye health and precious vision.
Nonproliferative and Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment
Nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy is the less severe form of the disease, in which the tiny blood vessels of the retina leak blood and fluid. As the blood vessels leak, the central portion of the retina, called the macula, can start to swell (i.e., diabetic macular edema). Another complication that can occur is that the retinal blood vessels can close off, preventing blood from reaching the macula. When these things happen, it is common to lose vision. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is the more advanced form of the disease, characterized by the growth of new, abnormal blood vessels.
Treating nonproliferative and proliferative diabetic retinopathy may involve using a laser to seal off specific leaking blood vessels, thereby reducing the swelling of the retina and the macula. Or, scatter laser diabetic retinopathy surgery can be performed to create laser burns that cause abnormal blood vessels to shrink.
Sometimes, treating proliferative diabetic retinopathy in Chula Vista requires using special medications to inhibit the development of new, abnormal blood vessels. These medicines, known as anti-VEGF medications, block a protein called VEGF that stimulates the growth of abnormal blood vessels. These drugs also reverse abnormal blood vessel growth and reduce fluid buildup. Anti-VEGF drugs include Avastin, Lucentis and Eylea. They are administered via injections in the eye; how often they need to be injected varies by patient.
Sometimes, intravitreal steroid medications are used to reduce swelling caused by diabetic macular edema. The steroids can be injected directly into the vitreous, or the clear jelly that fills the inside of the eye.
We always encourage patients to work with your primary care physician or endocrinologist to control your blood sugar levels, as well as your blood pressure, cholesterol and other vitals; this is good for the health of your eyes and overall health.
Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment Imperial Beach, Eastlake and Bonita
Whether you have been diagnosed with nonproliferative or proliferative diabetic retinopathy, our team of retinal specialists can recommend the treatment protocol most appropriate for your case. We can review the pros and cons of each procedure or medicine and tailor the treatment regimen to your specific needs.
The Chula Vista location of California Retina Associates is located at 835 Third Avenue, Suite A. From our Chula Vista office, we serve all South Bay areas of San Diego, including the following:
- Otay Ranch
- Rancho Del Ray
- Bella Lago
- Rolling Hills Ranch
- Eastlake Greens
- Yosemite Dr
- Eastlake Woods
- San Ysidro
- National City
- Bonita Long Canyon
- Paseo Ranchero
- Eastlake Trails
- Eastlake Vistas