Q. Are there any new treatments in the works for diabetic retinopathy?
By: David Rabady, M.D.
Ophthalmologist & Retina Specialist at Ophthalmic Consultants of the Capital Region
A. Great question. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of vision loss among those with diabetes and the leading cause of vision impairment and blindness in working-age adults.
Diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed when blood vessels in the retina become damaged. This damage leads to vision loss when the blood vessels start leaking blood and/or fluid into the eye.
In April of this year, Genentech’s drug, Lucentis® was FDA approved for monthly treatment of all types of diabetic retinopathy. In several clinical studies, Lucentis showed significant improvements of patients’ diabetic retinopathy by stopping the growth of new blood vessels and sometimes even destroying some of the excess blood vessels.
The approval of Lucentis is fantastic news given the large population of patients with diabetic retinopathy (affecting almost 8 million people in the United States alone) and the fact that blindness is a huge concern among all patients with diabetes.
If you have diabetes, it’s important that you see a retina specialist at least annually for a comprehensive eye exam. Early treatment of diabetic retinopathy can minimize vision loss.
If you have diabetes retinopathy, you owe it to yourself to see me or one of my associates at an office convenient to you. We offer medical treatments, including Lucentis, as well as laser and surgical treatments for diabetic eye disease. Please call us to schedule an appointment.