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Diabetic Retinopathy

Early Detection Of Retinal Disease Is Essential To Preserving Vision 


Healthy Retina

Allison Menezes, M.D.
Fellowship-trained Retina Specialist

Anita Shane, M.D.
Fellowship-trained Retina Specialist


One of the treatments for diabetic retinopathy is an in-office procedure which seals off the leaking vessels to minimize vision loss.

Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness among working-age Americans. The majority of blindness is preventable with proper treatment. Diabetes affects vision primarily by affecting the retina of the eye, causing retinal blood vessels to leak and abnormal new blood vessels to grow.


Retinal damage is termed "RETINOPATHY."  Diabetic retinopathy occurs as a consequence of abnormalities that develop in the blood vessels of the retina. Two types of diabetic retinopathy exist - - NON-PROLIFERATIVE and PROLIFERATIVE.  Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy occurs when the Retinal capillaries, the smallest blood vessels, become "weak."  This allows serum (the clear liquid portion of blood) to leak from within the capillary into the retina. This results in swelling of the retina, which may cause decreased vision.  Patients may also notice distortion or difficulty reading when the swelling occurs in the center part of the retina, (the macula). The retina may also be affected by destruction of the capillaries within the retina. If that occurs, blood cannot reach the retina, and vision may be diminished on this basis also.


Diabetic Retinopathy

The advanced form of diabetic retinopathy is called proliferative diabetic retinopathy. When this occurs in the retina, new, abnormal blood vessels grow.  These new blood vessels (neovascularization) are very abnormal and fragile and they can cause bleeding or scarring, which can lead to decreased vision or blindness.  When the new vessels bleed, the eye may become filled with blood.  This may cause the appearance of floaters or even a sudden loss of total vision, depending on the extent of the bleeding. Advanced cases of proliferative diabetic retinopathy may result in scar tissue, pulling the retina in such a way as to detach it from its normal position. The retinal detachment that occurs then can cause a devastating loss of vision.

Many of the complications of diabetic retinopathy can be reduced with laser treatments to the retina, an in-office procedure which stimulates the leaking vessels to stop leaking or encourages the abnormal blood vessels to stop growing.  Laser treatment reduces the risk of vision loss by 50%, but works best before vision is lost.  Good control of glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol also reduce the risk of vision loss from diabetic retinopathy by 50%. 


In certain individuals where the diabetic retinopathy is advanced, a vitrectomy surgery may be indicated to remove the scar tissue, blood, or reattach the retina if it has been detached.

With regular, dilated eye examinations and prompt treatment, loss of vision may be prevented or diminished.



Find out more by watching this informational video.

Dr. Menezes and Dr. Shane, our retina specialists, use modern techniques to treat patients with diabetic retinopathy at our Bradenton, Sarasota, and Sun City Center, Florida locations.



Why Choose CEI?

Coastal Eye Institute (formerly Manatee Sarasota Eye Clinic) is one of the area’s largest ophthalmology practices featuring a comprehensive team of fellowship-trained ophthalmologists in every subspecialty of eye care.From infancy to the golden years...we provide care for the total health of your eyes. Trust your eye care to our specialists!


Coastal Eye Institute has fellowship-trained ophthalmologists in every specialty of eye care:

  • ➢ Laser Cataract Surgery
  • ➢ Glaucoma
  • ➢ Macular Degeneration
  • ➢ Diabetic Retinopathy
  • ➢ Dry Eye Disease
  • ➢ LASIK Laser Vision Correction
  • ➢ Neuro-Ophthalmology
  • ➢ Pediatric Eye Care
  • ➢ Routine Eye Care
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