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Once diabetic eye disease is present, Dr. Miller will treat aggressively to reverse the process. If there are leaking blood vessels called "micro-aneurysms", these can be treated with "Focal Laser". Ideally, this cauterizes the small vessel outpouches, and allows the body to re-absorb the leaking fluid and fatty deposits. We can show you the photos of your eye, so you'll understand what is being done.
If there are new blood vessels (neo-vascularization, or NV), the laser is used in a different pattern on the retina, to eliminate the large areas of sick retina, and allow the new vessels to re-absorb. This reduces the chances of bleeding into the eye.
If the patient does not have regular eye evaluations, and comes into the office only once the eye has filled with blood, it becomes very difficult to treat with laser, because the doctor can't see IN, anymore than the patient can see OUT! There are situations in which we'll send you to retinal specialists to perform a "Vitrectomy" surgery to remove the central "jelly" in the eye (the vitreous), and the blood as well. Then, the laser treatments are performed during the same surgery.
As written above, preventative medicine is always best. At AVEA, we encourage you to keep your annual exams if you're a diabetic. If laser is needed, the doctor will know it long before you have vision loss, and we can prevent the blindness that was so common in diabetics just 30 years ago.