If anyone has an opinion or a story please feel free. I am frightened and angry about my last check-up. My doctor told me I have a new blood vessel in my left eye that was on my optic nerve.

The way I understand treatment is that , if this doesn’t improve by my next visit (4 months) that he’s going to laser it and I will lose a portion of my peripheral vision (because that’s where the problem is).

He gave me 4 months because my previous visits didn’t show this problem (therefore it’s new) I am T1, I am in good control… He said if he didn’t know me or if I was anybody else he would have lasered it right away.

So who’s had this? How was it? I can’t think of much else right now…

oh yea I have had T1 for 30 years.

My experience with lasered for retinapthy has no part which touches on the optic nerve. Dr U lasered doughnut shapes around the back centers of both my eyes. Eye tests & my experience show that I have no peripheral vision. Those two doughnut shapes are the home of peripheral vision. They also the home of night vision.

Lasering doesn’t hurt, although it is uncomfortable. Immediately after the laser, light will be many times than it was before When they lasered me, I always scheduled appts for last thing in the day before going home.

Doctor’s goal here is to stop the growth of fragile new blood vessels from developing. Blood leak and scar. New one leak & scar. Untreated the scarring takes your vision. Dr U lasered me a lot 15 some years and my vision is stable.

Anywho, that’s the short version of my experience with it. Good luck, Joe

Steve - thank you! nice tip too regarding the appointment time.

Hi Joe:

Sorry to hear that you are going through this. If you want to feel scared or angry, go right ahead.
We’re all Human after all. I didn’t feel scared the first time I went for the laser since the Dr. said
it wouldn’t hurt . :smiley: Okay with most People, that may be true. I have talked to many and they said
it didn’t hurt. I guess my eyes are just more sensitive than others. I carry this “chicken” label on me.
“Do what you want to me but DON’T touch my eyes unless you put me out first.” :wink:

For several reasons, I needed laser for Retinopathy 22 yrs. after being dxd. I was
25 at the time. I don’t recall my Ophthalmologist mentioning the optic nerve so you should ask
yours to explain about that, so you will understand it. I find most Specialists explain as little as
possible unless you happen to know what questions to ask them at the time.

Anyways, I only had to get my left eye lasered since my right has always been fine. I had 250 shots
the first visit. I found it Very uncomfortable, right up to painful burning even. So much so, that I made
the occasional movement while he was lasering my eye which didn’t please my Ophtho much. When
I was leaving, he asked if I wanted him to freeze my eye at my next appointment, not explaining about
the freezing, of course. I’m thinking, “eye drops”. NOT!

The next visit, he told me to close my eye since he was going to freeze it. What??? He’s got this long
hypodermic needle heading for my eye and had it stuck in my eye socket and under my eye before I
had a chance to comment. He was SO fast. (You better believe, I did make a few choice comments
after the fact :smiley: ).

So then, my eye was frozen, no movements from me during these 250 shots. (I actually dozed off since
he had my head held in a lodging and a circular thingy in my eye to keep it open. I had to wear a patch for
a couple days and I had a black eye for about a week(from the hypo). I had “star wars” nightmares for
about a month. That was it. That was 24 yrs. ago. I’ve never needed any more lasers. At my last eye
appointment, my Ophtho said my eyes looked beautiful and he doesn’t need to see me for a year.

I’m sure that you will do much better and I bet it won’t hurt you at all. Don’t forget, the laser eqiupment
that they had 24 yrs. ago was quite primitive compared to the ones they have nowadays. Good Luck!

I didn’t have much time but I just found this for you if it helps:

Healthy optic nerve illustration.
More eye anatomy information.

The optic nerve, which is the nerve that takes all of the visual information from the retina to the brain, can sometimes become swollen in diabetics. The cause of this optic neuropathy is unclear but it may also be due to insufficient blood supply. Like the nerve palsies mentioned above, the majority of these optic neuropathies resolve on there own over several weeks. Overall, this is an uncommon problem in diabetics.

Hi Joe… I just joined tudiabetes tonight and found your post. I can see that the posts are several months old, but I’ll respond anyway - hopefully you’re doing better by now.

I just had my first PRP laser last week. I’ve had T1 going on 25 years and have been fighting CRVO in my right eye for the past 3-4 years. 2 weeks ago, I had a retinal hemorhage in my right eye and couldn’t see out of it… scared the heck out of me.

Saw my Dr. that day and he did an injection of a drug called Avastin. I’ve had several IVK injections, but this was my first Avastin. I’m told they are having good results using this druig off-label to slow down and hopefully stop the growth of new blood vessels. He also scheduled me for the PRP laser which was what I had last week.

I can definitely notice the loss of my peripheral vison from the laser, but my central vision seems to be clearing up a bit. I’m scheduled for another laser treatment in 3 weeks, so we’ll see how that goes.

The laser itself is totally painless… if you get numbed up first. The injections are a little uncomfortable, but the discomfort doesn’t last long.

You should ask your doc about the Avastin… I’ve been reading about it online and it all seems pretty good. BTW, Avastin is a Genentech drug used to treat colo-rectal cancer… funny that it is being used off-label to treat something at the other end… :slight_smile:

Good luck to you. I hope you don’t need any treatment, but if you do, just be glad there are treatments available!


p.s. enjoyed reading Terrie8’s reply. Loved her decription of the doc coming at her with a hypo… I experienced the same thing regarding the injection. But my advise is to have the doc numb you up first. It’s worth the black eye and I wouldn’t want to do it without. Besides, you can tell some pretty good stories when people see you with a shiner and ask you what happened!!

thanks all who took time to reply. You’ve been so helpful. I went to get a second opinion and I think I am comfortable enough with my situation. Linda, yes the injection is an option for me, but I am a little uncomfortable with the lack of data and approval at this time. If they have to “go in” for any reason, however, I’ll ask them to splash a little Avastin in there for good measure. The laser treatment will be my first, and I think it’s right for me because I believe it’s a fairly low risk/high benefit scenario. So my appointment is Tuesday 2/11, wish me luck!

BTW here’s a photo of the little bastard, so you all can play along at home:

let's hope the doc is a good shot!

Hi Joe,

I hope everything goes great at your appointment, but I’ll give you my experience (which was over 10 years ago).

The retina specialist told me that I was going to need laser… I freaked (I had never had any type of surgery up to that point in my life) so I got a second opinion. That doctor also told me I needed laser, so I scheduled the appointment. Now the retina specialist explained why I was getting lasered, and from the above comments I think that you have that well in hand.

The doc tried to put how it would feel in terms I might understand. He said that it felt like walking through the forest and catching a very small twig off the branch of a tree in your eye… hey, that’s happened to me before, and I thought this is going to be cake. Well, what he didn’t explain was that each time he zapped my eye it would feel like that. I walked out of the office with one of the biggest migraines I have ever had.

Please remember, that was over 10 years ago, and I’m sure they have done a great job of perfecting laser treatments and the numbing eye drops they give since then. A bit of advice: when I went for subsequent treatments, I would take 2 extra strength Tylenol just before getting to the doctor’s office. There was a lot less pain, and my eye hardly hurt after the laser session.

My best to you Joe, and here’s to a painless procedure.


You’ll be ok, Joe, Remember that everything will be BRIGHT, BRIGHT, BRIGHT when you leave the office (from all the dialation). Driving a car may be difficult I always drove myself home, but I lived very near the laser doc’s office.

With any luck, someday you might have before and after pictures.

Hi again Joe,

Just 2 quick things:

  1. Unless you have sunglassesphobia (not a real phobia, but hey, you never know) get the darkest sunglasses you can and bring them with you.

  2. 2/11 (February 11th.) is on a Monday. It would suck if you missed your appointment.

Good luck Joe.


hmmm you are right. The appt is Tuesday 2/12, a day after my sweetie’s birthday!

THANKS EVERY ONE for your tips and kind words. I’ll pass along an update soon!


Hey Joe - isn’t that a Jimmy Hendrix song :wink:

I will give you my 2 cents, if you can get the numbing shot, do it. My doc does what he calls “little laser” and “big laser”. After he gave me the numbing shot (which is a trip like Terrie8 said, no pain but a lot of pressure, like my doc was trying to pop my eye out of my head). Anyways, after I got the first numbing shot I always asked to do it without it after that, just because I cant see out of my left eye and I didn’t want to be blind the rest of the day (this story is leading to a point, I swear!). OK so while having my eyes zapped, sometimes I could barely feel the laser, then other times it was like “DO THAT AGAIN AND I’LL KICK YOU IN THE TEETH AND SEE HOW YOU LIKE IT” pain. I told my doc that sometimes it hurt real bad (OK, he still has all his teeth) and he said that was probably when he was “close to the optic nerve”. So, you may want to consider the numbing shot, and definitely ask for some Avastin, it has helped me tremendously in my right eye.

UPDATE: Out from Under the laser, and am doing okay!

SO thanks to everyone I had a pretty good feel for the procedure and all. The doctor did 750 “jabbs” around my eye to slow the retinopathy. I wanted to try the procedure without any injections so all I had was the dialation and numbing drops. The most uncomfortable thing for me was that “shoe” that slips under the eyelids, eesh I scheeve so easily. I had to do some square breathing so I wouldn’t spasm and move. The doc said I was pretty good about keeping myself still.

The laser did hurt a bit, depending on where he was applying the heat. The fact of the matter is this: the new vessel on my optic nerve is “unlaserable”, so he went around my eye and treated the vessel, indirectly.

The pain afterwards was like when I used to get hay-fever, bad. The itching and watering wasn’t too fun, but like I said - I have had worse times with just my allergies. I had my vision back in 15 minutes and things looked pretty normal by evening, but when I woke this morning my lasered eye was “darker” than the other one. It went away in an hour and I am at work doing my thing today.

I hafta go back in 3 months for a new angiogram, so that’s all for now!

Hey Joe, that’s great to hear, I’m glad it wasn’t too bad an experience for you. May your eyes be perfect on your next exam :slight_smile:

I second what Jonothan said Joe…

I’m glad that the procedure went smoothly and I hope that your 3 month follow-up gives you great news.


thanks boys - your well wishes mean a lot to me!

Your story sounds familiar. Our eyesight is something we generally take for granted. I was dx over 45 years ago, before anybody really knew what was going on with diabetes… Like you my retinopathy started with “seeing” the first blood vessel in my vision over 30 years ago. I have been to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN too many times to remember. many years ago. I’ve had 1000’s of lasers back in the day the pain was so intense, I’d pass out. As most things medical the laser today is much improved. My little dissertation may sound intimidating, but there is good news 30 years later. Yes I have NO peripheral vision, and can’t see in low light conditions, but I still have some vision. It is cloudy, but I can still see a lot of things, just not clearly. If I knew then what I do now… The “floating lines” don’t just go away Your opthamologist should be on you speed dial. Catching problems earlier than later can easily keep you with good vision. Don’t procrastinate. When you see the “swimming lines” in your vision…call your opthamologist and get lasered. When you are my age, you’ll be glad you did.
Best to you!

HI Rick, Thanks for the input.

Regarding the treatment - I have had 2 sessions now and my left eye is stable nothing is bleeding and no new growth for almost a year. I have checkups every 3 months - by a specialist - so I believe I am in good hands. Hope you are well wow 45 years!

well. i have had laser treatments in both eyes. 60 shots to my right eye, and 30 to my left. while the procedure was rather painless for me, my father had several treatments and if a bleeder is close to a nerve, well when they zap it and hit the nerve it’s not a pleasant experience. by the next day i was able to see normally and other than seeing a bunch of spots when i closed my eyes, i lost no peripheral vision. i did however develop a couple of small blank spots in the center of my vision, so it’s pretty much impossible for me to read regular printed books, as the letters are the same size as my blank spots. so i have to read everything on the compurer so i can enlarge the print. Reading glasses dont help because they just magnify my blank spots and i still cant see the letters.