El Centro Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment

If you have been diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetes affecting the tiny blood vessels in the retina, you must act quickly in order to avoid vision loss. The knowledgeable team of retinal specialists at California Retina Associates treat cases of diabetic retinopathy in El Centro and the surrounding areas. We encourage you to meet with our doctors to discuss your specific case and how we can minimize the disease’s impact on your vision.

Medication

Many cases of diabetic retinopathy, particularly serious cases that are classified as proliferative diabetic retinopathy, are treated with special medications called anti-VEGF medications. These drugs are designed to inhibit the development of new, abnormal blood vessels that leak blood and fluid into the retina and the macula. Anti-VEGF medications block a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) that triggers the growth of these blood vessels. Injecting these medicines directly into the eye can reverse blood vessel growth and reduce fluid in the retina.

Clinical studies have found that anti-VEGF medications like Avastin and Lucentis are safe and effective. Most of the time, the injections are performed monthly for about six months; then, they are needed less often. If our doctors recommend anti-VEGF medications for your case, we will outline a suggested timeframe and explain how often you should schedule treatments. We will also recommend the specific medication that we feel is best for your case.

Another medication that we can use in cases of diabetic retinopathy is corticosteroids. These medications are good for reducing swelling in the macula. However, we prescribe them cautiously because they can raise the risk of other eye diseases like cataracts.

Laser Therapy

Another common treatment for diabetic retinopathy in El Centro is laser therapy. Using an advanced laser like the Aragon laser, we can create tiny burns in abnormal, leaking blood vessels to slow down the leakage and thus reduce swelling in the retina. We may recommend one or a series of laser treatments for diabetic retinopathy, depending on the severity of your case. We may also recommend performing laser therapy in conjunction with anti-VEGF medications.

Vitrectomy for Advanced Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

In the most serious cases of proliferative diabetic retinopathy, where there is a lot of bleeding in the eye, we may recommend a treatment called vitrectomy. During the procedure, we remove the vitreous gel, or the jelly-like substance that fills the center of the eye. At the same time, all of the blood and any scar tissue is removed from the retina as well. The vitreous is replaced with a gas bubble or silicone oil, which help maintain eye pressure. The gas dissolves on its own but silicone oil requires an additional treatment to remove.

Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment Mexicali, Calexico, Yuma, AZ

California Retina Associates has an office located in El Centro, Calif., serving the surrounding Imperial Valley and all neighboring areas. Patients visit our El Centro office from the following areas:

  • Brawley
  • Plaster City
  • Glamis
  • Calexico
  • Mexicali
  • Yuma, AZ

If you would like to make an appointment at our El Centro office, please call 760.352.7755 or email us today.