Diabetic Retinopathy

David Lazar, MD

If you have diabetes, one of the best things you can do to protect your vision is to have your eyes checked regularly by a qualified eye care provider. David Lazar, MD, is a board-certified ophthalmologist and retina specialist who is well-respected for his skill in diagnosing and treating diabetic eye disease. You’ll appreciate the advanced technology available at his state-of-the-art medical practice, Lazar Retina, in West Los Angeles. You’ll also welcome his personalized, patient-first approach to diabetic eye care. Call today to schedule your visit or book your appointment online.

Diabetic Eye Disease Q & A

What is diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy affects blood vessels in the retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of your eye. Persistently elevated blood sugars cause the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina to bleed and develop small bulges (microaneurysms). As the disease progresses, the vessels lose their ability to transport blood.

It usually affects both eyes and can harm patients with both Type I or Type II diabetes.  The longer you have had diabetes, the more likely you are to have diabetic retinopathy. Patients on insulin are more likely to have diabetic retinopathy.

Unfortunately, diabetic retinopathy often presents without any symptoms.  Many patients with early eye disease are picked up on routine screening eye exams after being sent to the ophthalmologist by their primary care provider.

Diabetic retinopathy can create dark splotches in your visual field due to draining fluids and blood. It can also cause scar tissue to build and eventually pull the retina away from the back of the eye, which can lead to total vision loss.

What is diabetic macular edema?

Diabetic macular edema (DME) is a result of diabetic retinopathy, which causes swelling (edema) in an area of the retina called the macula. The macula is necessary for the central vision you use for reading, recognizing faces, driving, and performing other routine tasks.

How do you treat diabetic eye disease?

The most effective treatment for diabetic eye disease occurs when the condition is at its earliest stages. That’s why it’s so important to have routine diabetic eye exams at least annually, more often if Dr. Lazar notices worrisome changes in your eye health.

Otherwise, many effective treatments are available, which may include:

  • Anti-VEGF injection therapy to block vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a protein that can stimulate abnormal blood vessel growth
  • Laser surgery to slow leakage from blood vessels, shrink abnormal blood vessels, and reduce swelling in the retina
  • Corticosteroid injections or implants to suppress DME

If you have severe bleeding, Dr. Lazar may also recommend a vitrectomy or surgical removal and replacement of the vitreous gel in your eye. This also gives him access to the retina for scar tissue removal and retinal reattachment, if necessary.

If you have diabetes and it’s time for your exam, or you’ve been diagnosed with a diabetic eye disease and would like a second opinion regarding your treatment options, schedule a visit with Dr. Lazar today. Call the office or book your appointment online.