If you suffer from diabetes, your body does not use sugar properly. High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels in the retina. This damage to retinal vessels is referred to as Diabetic Retinopathy. If untreated over the long-term, Diabetic Retinopathy can cause visual impairment and blindness.
What is the Retina?
The retina is the light-sensitive film at the back of the eye, which is responsible for vision. It converts light images from the eye’s optical system into electrical impulses that are processed and sent along the optic nerve to the brain.
Types of Diabetic Retinopathy
In Diabetic Retinopathy, the damaged abnormal blood vessels can cause vision loss in two ways:
- Fragile, abnormal blood vessels grow into the jelly (vitreous) inside the eye. These blood vessels can break and bleed inside the eye, triggering further progressive damage and, if left untreated, profound blindness. This is called Proliferative Retinopathy and is the most advanced stage of the disease.
- Fluid can leak into the center of the macula, the part of the eye where sharp, straight-ahead vision occurs. This fluid makes the macula swell, which results in progressive degradation of fine, detailed vision. Over time vision is lost and the changes become irreversible. This condition is called Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) and is the most common form of Diabetic Retinopathy.
Patients who suffer from diabetes have a risk of developing DME over time. In order to preserve vision and prevent progression of DME, it is important to take control of your blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol.
The list below includes some of the factors that may put you at higher risk for DME.
- Duration of diabetes — the longer you have diabetes, the greater your risk of DME. On average, DME affects up to 30% of people who have had diabetes for 20 years or more.
- Poor control of your blood sugar level
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
Retinal Rejuvenation Therapy (2RT®) represents one of the latest advancements in the treatment of retinal disease.
A non-thermal, laser-based therapy, 2RT® applies nanosecond pulses of laser energy through a proprietary beam profile to stimulate a natural, biological healing response in the eye to preserve and/or improve macular appearance and function, thereby reducing disease progression. This breakthrough treatment approach retains the therapeutic benefit of laser-based therapy while eliminating the thermal tissue damage inherent in conventional retinal photocoagulation treatment.
2RT® has a CE Mark (Conformité Européenne) and is included on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) for the indication of early AMD, where it can produce bilateral improvements in macular appearance and function. It also has a CE Mark (Conformité Européenne) and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (510k) market release for the treatment of Clinically Significant Macula Edema (CSME).