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Understanding Diabetic Photocoagulation Treatment

If you have diabetic retinopathy, then you have some options when it comes to treatment. One of the more common treatments involves the use of lasers. If you want to know more about the treatment and also how you should prepare for it, keep reading.

What Is Diabetic Laser Treatment?

Diabetic laser retinopathy treatment is a procedure that is performed to help stabilize your vision and to prevent ongoing vision loss. While the treatment is usually performed on patients with severe retinopathy, it must be completed before the retina has been damaged significantly. 

There are several different types of laser treatments, but the most common one is called photocoagulation. This is where a laser is utilized to repair tiny tears in the retina and to help reattach the thin and delicate tissue to the back portion of the eye. A high-intensity argon laser that creates intense heat inside the eye is used during the procedure. 

Photocoagulation is considered to be a minimally invasive procedure, and results are usually seen within a day or two after the treatment. Typically, you will note some blurriness and sensitivity after the operation before you notice positive results.

The laser treatment can be completed under local anesthesia. However, wakeful sedation may be possible if you have anxiety about the procedure.

How Do You Prepare For Laser Treatment?

One of the best ways to prepare for laser photocoagulation is to make sure that your blood sugar is under control. Proper control of your diabetes is imperative when it comes to successful treatment, and most eye professionals will only complete the treatment if you have a good record of diabetic control. 

Also, you will need to schedule a ride for the day of the appointment. Pupil dilation is necessary and your pupils will remain dilated for several hours, meaning that you cannot drive. 

You will likely need to stop blood thinners for several weeks before your procedure and you also may need to have your ocular pressure checked shortly before the treatment. High eye pressure may make the laser treatment dangerous, so you should let the eye professional know if you have a history of glaucoma.

Also, you should know that laser treatments do come with some risks of worsening or poor vision afterward. So, make sure you are aware of this. A reduction in night vision is a common concern with photocoagulation. 

If you want to know more about laser eye treatments for diabetic retinopathy, contact a center like Northwest Ophthalmology