December 21, 2015 – Diabetes and Vision


Anchor lead: Vision loss related to diabetes can be effectively treated without lasers, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Ranibizumab is the tongue-twisting name of a drug shown to be effective in halting damage to the retina of the eye due to diabetes, a Johns Hopkins study led by ophthalmologist Neil Bressler has shown. Bressler says the message is clear.

Bressler: We have an excellent alternative to laser treatment to prevent losing vision from bleeding complications of diabetes. If you are able to come in for regular follow up especially in the first year there may be advantages to getting injection of medication instead of laser.  Vision will be no worse over two years than if you had laser but you’re less likely to lose your side vision, less likely to need to go on to complicated surgery for complications of bleeding, and you’re far less likely to develop swelling of the center part of the retina, which also could cause vision loss.  :34

Bressler says most patients tolerate these injections right into the eye, and most need five or six to halt the damage.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.