Silver Lake Eye Clinic
10217 19th Ave. S.E.
Suite 102
Everett, WA 98208
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Phone: 425-316-9400
Fax: 425-316-8820
Answering Service:


Monday 9-6
Tuesday 10-7
Wednesday 9-6
Thursday 9-6
Friday 9-6

Diabetes Eyecare > Diabetic Retinopathy > How is it treated?

Diabetic Retinopathy

What is the treatment if I have bleeding in my retina?

The treatment for changes in the retina depend upon the nature of the problem. If there is bleeding within the retina, the retina is generally treated with a laser. The idea behind treating the retina with laser is to stop the bleeding within the retina by sealing or cauterizing the blood vessels so they no longer leak.

Laser treatments delivered to the retina are extremely precise today. The laser can be guided to an exact area of the retina and the depth of penetration can be controlled to maximize the treated area without harming adjacent retinal tissue. The depth and degree of treatment is determined after careful analysis of the effected area through diagnostic tests and imaging. The retinologist will likely take images of the effected area, scan the effected area with new, modern imaging technology known as Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and perform fluorescein angiography.

Prior to undergoing the laser treatment the patient has their eyes dilated. Application of the laser treatment is painless as there are no nerve endings in the retina. Modern laser instruments are much smaller than in the past and these laser treatments are done in the retinologist's office. The laser treatment not only stops the bleeding by cauterizing the blood vessel but also decreases swelling of the surrounding retinal tissue as the treated area scars. Since laser treatments cauterize tissue there is no vision in these areas after the treatment.

The thinking behind laser treatments is to preserve large areas of retina at the expense of small areas of treated retina. The retina is unlike other tissue in the body that may regenerate and heal when damaged. The retina and sensory cells of the retina do not regenerate once disturbed either from swelling, hypoxia or laser therapy.

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