4 Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy Treatments
Non-Proliferative Diabetes is a serious condition that can lead to eye damage known as diabetic retinopathy. Without proper treatment, the condition can worsen, leading to vision loss or blindness. Fortunately, several non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy treatments can stop the condition’s progression and improve vision. These treatments include laser therapy, injections, eye vitamins, and diet modifications. Injections of anti-VEGF drugs can also help reduce swelling and block new vessels from forming. Laser therapy is also a common treatment, as it can reduce swelling and block abnormal blood vessels from forming. Dietary modifications can help to control blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of further damage. Proper treatments can reduce the risk of vision loss or blindness and improve the patient’s quality of life. Read on to learn more about the different treatments for non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
What is Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy?
Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy is the mildest stage of diabetic retinopathy and is the leading cause of blindness among people with diabetes. People with non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy have not yet experienced any significant visual impairment. However, they may have blurred vision, hazy vision, or spots in their field of vision. These are known as non-proliferative retinopathy symptoms. While not as severe as proliferative diabetic retinopathy, non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy is still a serious condition that can lead to vision loss if left untreated. Fortunately, several non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy treatments, such as laser therapy, injections, eye vitamins, and diet modifications, can slow or stop the progression of this condition. With proper treatments, those with non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy can reduce the risk of vision loss and improve their quality of life.
What are the Causes of Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy?
Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that occurs when high blood sugar levels damage the small blood vessels in the retina. In people with diabetes, the retina cells are more sensitive to high blood sugar levels than normal cells. When blood sugar levels Are high, the retina cells become overactive and cause the cells to form new blood vessels. These new blood vessels are abnormal and do not correctly dilate or contract when needed. They can also become blocked and prevent oxygen and nutrients from getting to the retina. The abnormal blood vessels are more likely to rupture and bleed into the retina. This can cause swelling, scarring, and retinal detachment.
Retinal detachment occurs when a section of the retina separates from the back of the eye. If not promptly treated, non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy can progress to proliferative diabetic retinopathy. If untreated or under-treated, non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy can lead to permanent vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy usually only becomes a concern when it reaches an advanced stage and threatens your vision. The goal of VRC experts is to provide comprehensive treatment to their patients in an attempt to avoid future loss of vision.
What are the Symptoms of Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy?
Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) is a type of diabetic eye disease that can cause blood vessels in the retina to leak fluid and scar. There are many symptoms, but depending on how severe it is, it can be hard to tell if you have NPDR or something else.
Here are some common symptoms:
- Slight loss of vision
- Redness or swelling around the eye
- Pain in the eye
Common Treatments for Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy
For mild and moderate nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy, treatment generally involves managing your diabetes better and getting your blood sugar levels under control.
For more advanced cases, VRC treatments can include:
- Injections of anti-VEGF drugs: Injections of anti-VEGF drugs can also help reduce swelling and block new vessels from forming. These injections are commonly used to prevent the progression of diabetic retinopathy.
- Laser therapy: Laser therapy works by firing a concentrated light beam onto the retina. This focused light can reduce swelling and block abnormal blood vessels from forming. Laser therapy is the most common treatment for non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
How is Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy Diagnosed?
Your eye doctor will check your eyes to determine if you have diabetic retinopathy. If you do, they will likely conduct several tests to determine the severity of your condition. These tests can include eye dilation, retinal imaging, and fluorescein angiography. Eye dilation involves applying eye drops that dilate the pupils. This allows your eye doctor to get a better view of the inside of your eyes. Retinal imaging is used to detect new abnormal blood vessels. This is simply taking a picture of the inside of the eye. Fluorescein angiography uses dyes injected into the bloodstream to detect abnormal blood vessels. If your eye doctor sees signs of diabetic retinopathy, they will most likely recommend treatment to stop the condition’s progression. Early detection and treatment of diabetic retinopathy help to prevent vision loss.
Why Should You See a Retina Specialist for Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy?
If you're a diabetic, you may be at risk for developing diabetic retinopathy—a condition that can lead to blindness.
When you have diabetic retinopathy, you need to see an eye doctor regularly. Your doctor will check for signs of the condition during regular exams and monitor it over time to ensure it's not getting worse or causing vision problems. VRC is committed to providing a compassionate and ethical environment that focuses on patient-centered care. We are proud of our reputation for the clarity, transparency, and humanity we bring to all aspects of our work—from diagnostics through clinical trials. Book your appointment today!