An ophthalmologist is a physician who specializes in the eye, ocular diseases and surgery. To become an ophthalmologist one has to complete medical school followed by internship and residency training in ophthalmology. The ophthalmologist treats patients with various conditions of the eyes including diabetes retinopathy.
Duration of treatment:
The duration of treatment depends upon the severity of disease. In most cases it can be corrected by outpatient procedure which takes about 1 hour.
About diabetic retinopathy:
Diabetes mellitus causes damage to blood vessels supplying retina due to inability to regulate blood sugar level in body properly. This may lead to bleeding into eyes, swelling of blood vessels or even destruction of them leading to blindness It occurs in 10% of diabetes patients. If left untreated, it may lead to permanent vision loss or even defects during ocular development
Pain in the eye, swelling of eyelid and discharge from eyes are some of the symptoms. In severe cases patient may not be able to see at all.
Ophthalmologist examines the patient thoroughly with ophthalmoscope and dilates his pupils with eye drops so as to look inside the retina for opacities (scars). It is confirmed by fluorescein angiography which shows leakage from vessels into retina.
Treatment includes laser treatment of bleeding vessels or laser photocoagulation i.e burning off abnormal blood vessels which are leaking into retina. Diabetes retinopathy is usually managed in ophthalmologists’ office and outpatient procedures are performed with local anesthesia.
It involves placing a needle through the sclera (the white part of the eye) to inject medication into the intra ocular space where it diffuses to reach blood vessels. These medicines may be osmotic/ anti-proliferative/ vasopressor agents depending upon location, size, vascularity and other factors to stop further bleeding.
It depends on severity of condition at each stage of disease process. If treatment begins early chances of avoiding vision loss or decrease in vision are high while if not treated by ophthalmologist complete loss of vision may due to diabetic retinopathy.