December 22, 2015 – Get Checked

December 18, 2015

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Anchor lead:  Detecting diabetes damage to the eye is key to successful management, Elizabeth Tracey reports

If you have diabetes that has affected your retina, the light sensing part of the eye, the good news is that a drug called ranibizumab may be just as effective as laser treatment to stabilize your vision, a Johns Hopkins study led by ophthalmologist Neil Bressler has found.  Bressler says though, that in order to be treated the condition must first be detected.

Bressler: The most important thing for anybody with diabetes is that they understand that the diabetes can damage the back part of their eye, the retina, and cause vision loss, and may not cause symptoms when its first damaging the retina, so the person may not notice it.  Therefore everyone with diabetes needs to have the back part of their eye, their retina tissue, evaluated at least once a year, even in the absence of any vision loss.   :28

Bressler says Medicare and most private insurers do pay for treatment, which can be expensive.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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