In most cases of diabetic retinopathy, treatment is not required, but ongoing observation is still needed.
Laser surgery is the mainstay of diabetic retinopathy treatment. This is usually a clinic procedure that means you don’t need to go the operating theatre. The laser is applied through a contact lens system. During the procedure you will see bright lights in your vision. Someone will need to pick you up from the clinic and take you home. For the rest of the day your vision may be blurred and the eye may feel a little bruised.
Injections into the eye of various drugs are occasionally required to stabilise diabetic retinopathy. This sometimes has to be repeated and may be required in conjunction with laser treatment or vitrectomy surgery.
Vitrectomy surgery is occasionally performed on eyes with advanced diabetic eye disease. If you have a lot of blood in the vitreous jelly, removal of the jelly with a vitrectomy will clear away the cloudiness in your vision. Sometimes this surgery is also performed if you have a retinal detachment associated with your diabetic retinopathy. A vitrectomy is usually performed under a local anaesthetic, which means you will be awake at the time, with the eye fully numbed.