Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Special Eye Exams Predict Diabetic Retinopathy Damage

Recently reported information in Retina Today, from research conducted at the Joslin Diabetes Center’s Beetham Eye Institute, demonstrated that for people with diabetes who are showing evidence of diabetic retinopathy, it is of important predictive value for us to carefully evaluate lesions not only at the center of the retina, but more importantly those in the periphery of the retina, as these changes generally tell us that the disease will progress more rapidly. What we now know is that these peripheral lesions, which are not detected by traditional eye imaging, correlate very closely with the loss of retinal blood flow, called retinal “non-perfusion”; which tells us that there is damage to the small blood vessels or capillaries in the retina.

Thus, if you are diabetic and we are examining you for retinal changes and diabetic retinopathy, we may recommend that we take both the routine retina photographs and fluorescein angiography of the central retina, as well as the peripheral retina. If this extra measure of safety is necessary, we will advise you of this extra step at the time of your diabetic eye exam.

Fortunately, with early detection, diagnosis and treatment the last decade or so has given us many success stories in the treatment of diabetic eye disease, including diabetic macular edema (DME), with drugs that target a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). It is possible that such anti-VEGF drugs might also help us treat peripheral lesions and slow or even eliminate the risk of progression.

If you or someone you know has diabetes, having regular eye exams and testing to prevent vision loss from diabetic retinopathy is an important part of your care. Please schedule a diabetic eye exam by calling Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937, or visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ or

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice with office locations at 200 Hospital Drive, Suite 600, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061, 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.