Laser treatment for Retinopathy- Please help!


#21

My vision was so poor at the time that I could not tell the effects of any treatment I was receiving. My doctor told me that this was the expected coverage from Avastin. I believe that I also went on to Lucentis at some point.

After that I had a treatment (I do not recall the name of it) that was supposed to last for three years. It is a small pellet impregnated with a long acting steroid. It worked fine for about one month. Then it had no effect. That is when I move to my current regimen.


#22

Okay, treatment #1 complete! I just want to thank everyone for their input on this. I went into my doctor with a much greater sense of ease. He took the time to explain everything to me, and overall, I want to say that it was practically nothing. Holy s*** though, that light is super bright. I had a little bit of pain toward the end, a kind of mild stinging sensation, though he said that was normal due to the amount of nerves in that area. Afterward, I probably would have been able to drive, but only because It was very rainy and overcast and I had on dark glasses. If I took my sunglasses off, I would have been completely blinded! Fortunately, I had set up a ride because I didn’t want to risk it, and I probably will next time as well, because better safe than sorry.

SO. After speaking to my doctor, I have a better sense of my treatment plan and what’s going on with my eyes. In my left eye I will need perhaps four Lucentis injections over a four month period. Later down the line, I will need a few laser treatments. In my right eye, which is not as bad as the left, I will need perhaps one or two more laser treatments.

The good news is that he dilated my eyes and said that the left eye is already looking better! I actually noticed a slight improvement in my vision, and this confirmed it. He said that the concerning blood vessels he saw two weeks ago are already gone! (or not concerning anymore.)

I am still having a lot of issues with glare. I’m hoping that gets fixed, because it really is a pain to be out in daylight. I can barely see because of the glare, and have avoided driving in the middle of the day because of it. I’m wondering if this has something to do with blood pressure. I’ve recently discovered that my BP is low when upright, but when I sleep it goes up to around the 145/95 range. It has never done this before, and I’ve been monitoring it. I’ve noticed that the glare in my eyes is worse when it is particularly low. Anyone ever experience this?

Once again, thank you everyone so, so much for all your help with this! I feel not only at ease because of everything you’ve shared, but also confident that I won’t lose my sight!


#23

. Late comer here but thought my info would relate to long term effects. I was born 1946. Diagnosed T1D n 1954. First hemorrhage in eye and laser treatment 1982. Had more hemorrhages which looked like black paint running down my glasses and went away after about 2 weeks. This meant more laser treatments in both eyes until about 1995 Effects on my vision: my eyes take time to adapt going from bright light to darkened room, lost some peripheral vision, did have cataracts removed in 2007 or 08. But today I still have about 20/20 in right eye and 20/40 in left eye which is what I had since before becoming T1D. I have had no more hemorrhages since 1995 and therefore no more laser and I have not had any shots to my eyes. Was told that my laser treatments had “covered” my retina and there is no more room to do any more. Have also been told my eyes are stable enough to be seen by doc just once a year. So I consider the laser treatment a great success. FYI my A1C’s have ranged from 6.0 to 7.5 over the last 20+ years. HOpe your results are just as good.


#24

My retina doc describes this as “you’re burned out” - I’ve had a similar experience. Except I need to get my cataracts done and I’m putting it off.


#25

Marie,

Yes, cataract removal is a bit strange because you are awake and aware.
BUT they give you meds to relax you and I think other meds to numb your
eyes. Whenever I go through a procedure like this I think of some of the
war movies I’ve seen and what soldiers go through in war- severe injuries,
unsanitary conditions, no meds, no docs nearby, etc. And then can say I’ve
got good conditions, a doctor in control and know the result will be
improved eyesight, etc.
Ken


#26

It’s comforting to hear about other people going through all of this and largely retaining vision (minus the minor side effects of the laser) for the longterm. I’d never had any kind of lasting complications before, so the retinopathy was definitely the kick in the *** I needed to get my diabetes in decent control—went from hovering in the 8s during my many years of grad school (I know, bad) down to a 6.5 now. Hoping to eventually tighten it further, but I honestly never would have thought control this good was possible until I was both this motivated (and accordingly got a few more tools to work with, like a CGM). So while this has all really sucked and sometimes I have trouble not kicking myself for preventing it or catching it sooner, I’m also trying to see it as a warning sign that I will probably be able to manage and that will hopefully have spurred me to avoid a lot of other more detrimental complications in the future.


#27

I had 2 cataract surgeries. (They’ll only do 1 at a time). Experience very similar to yours. Except when they got done w/2nd surgery I was blind in that eye-vision completely black. They gave me more narcotics IV thinking I was just freaked out - I wasn’t at all! Actually quite comfortable, but they all looked scared - freaking out more than I was! Lol. They laid me back and decreased the pressure on eye and vision returned. Simple and very comfortable experience for me. Vision 20/15 and 20/20 now.


#28

Every bit of information helps! Is anyone taking coQ10? I’m on a pretty high dose and I was just wondering if anyone with retinopathy has found that this helps at all. Or with any other problems. Only been taking it for about a month.


#29

I have no experience with that, but it looks like you gave enough information I could identify the medicine.

Ranibizumab (brand name Lucentis)

If that’s the right medicine, you might want to read this, since it mentions a less expensive alternative.


#30

Well, I lost the sight in my left eye when I was about as far along in my diabetes as you. The veil across my left eye worsened and improved over the next few weeks. I saw local ophthalmologists who sent me to one of the gods of ophthalmology in Toronto. I can’t remember the exact sequence of events, but I believe he did a couple of photocoagulation (i.e. laser) treatments, at about 200 to 240 burns per treatment. A few weeks went by, and he told me it would be a good idea to do a vitrectomy - to remove and replace the fluid in my eye. So, a couple of weeks later, I was in an operating room.They did this under general anaesthesia, and next morning I could see out of the eye although it was a little blurry. This improved over the next week or two, and I could see perfectly well out of the eye. By the way, the surgery was almost without discomfort, and the laser treatments didn’t hurt at all, although after any laser treatment It took most of the day for the vision to come back. My eye didn’t move during either the laser or surgical treatments because they stuck a needle in under my eye and froze the eye muscles. That part was unpleasant, but only briefly.

I continued to go for laser in the left eye, then I lost the sight in my right eye, and went through the same sort of process with that eye. I can’t remember the exact sequence of events, but I was without eyesight in either eye for a week. Talk about scaring the hell out of you! The entire process took several years, but in that period I was able to drive a car, do my job, and perform most of the functions of daily living without discomfort. (Except for the short time I was blind in both eyes, of course.) So, I ended up having 16 laser treatments and two vitrectomies. I like to say I’ve taken more laser fire than the Starship Enterprise. For all this, in practical terms I don’t even notice the missing retinal spots. Your brain is pretty good at filling in the blanks, and I am not in the least blind. I regularly pass field ttests, so I can keep my driver’s license, and I went to a firing range just for the heck of it and found that I am still a pretty good shot. I do have floaters, but I can live with that.

Since then, I have had both lenses replaced due to cataracts, and now have an interesting condition that causes me to have vertical double vision. I blame these problems on my diabetes, not on the treatments for diabetic retinopathy. All of the surgeries and treatments I have had have been free of real pain, although I’ve had some brief discomfort. The last time I was given a laser treatment was about 24 years ago. You can survive this, but don’t put it off. A young lady I knew delayed getting treatment and by the time she saw an eye doctor, there was nothing they could do. She went blind.

My problems began more than 30 years ago (I’ve had diabetes for 50 years) so I imagine medicine has gotten even better than it was for me.

Best wishes for a good recovery.


#31

Yes, that’t it! I was able to get financial help for it through a program, and only have to pay $5 for the medication, and my copay for the visit. All in all very affordable but still have to work a few extra hours to cover the cost. Thanks for looking this up for me!


#32

This info was very good to know. One of the things I am always thinking about and is always in the back of my mind is, what will my future hold? What can I expect from this disease? Am I doomed to have all of these problems anyway, despite managing my blood sugars? It can get very disheartening and downright depressing if you let yourself dwell on it, and sometimes it even causes me to skip doctor appointments or fail to test my sugar/pay attention to the foods I eat because I just don’t have the mental capacity to deal with it. One thing I’ve learned is that you HAVE to deal with it, no matter what your state of mind is, because if you don’t, it’s so much worse. SO much worse.

I’ve been getting the injections, and some laser treatment. After only the first injection into my left eye, and one laser treatment in my right, my eye doctor has already told me he sees major improvement. The concerning blood vessels in my right eye are no longer concerning, and while my left eye’s vision has not improved by leaps and bounds, he says that he sees improvement and I will probably only need one or two more injections, followed by some minor laser treatment. The glare has gone down, as has the macular edema. He said it is very slight now, as opposed to moderate. I have hope that this will clear up completely, now it’s just a matter of if I have the strength or not to keep my blood sugar levels just that. Level.

Thanks so much for sharing your experience, this helped immensely. It is good to know that you have recovered, and to know how your procedures went so I know what to expect if (when) things happen down the line!


#33

I would look in to Taurine for retinopathy. It’s dirt cheap and has a lot of potential benefits for Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetics in terms of lowering risk of and treating complications.

Taurine: the comeback of a neutraceutical in the prevention of retinal degenerations:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/24721186/

The potential usefulness of taurine on diabetes mellitus and its complications:

A quote from the article above:

“Recently, data is accumulating that show the effectiveness of taurine against diabetes mellitus, insulin resistance and its complications, including retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy, atherosclerosis and cardiomyopathy, independent of hypoglycemic effect in several animal models. The useful effects appear due to the multiple actions of taurine on cellular functions. This review summarizes the beneficial effects of taurine supplementation on diabetes mellitus and the molecular mechanisms underlying its effectiveness.”

Taurine is available as a nutrition supplement for about $10 for a bottle of 100 capsules of 1000mg.

Capsules can be spilt I’d recomend taking 1000-2000mg a day you can split them up 500mg here 500mg there.

Most diabetic complications are a result of damage to small and large blood vessels throughout the body.

Taurine can minimize/alleviate the damage of course normal blood sugars are the best but Taurine is a very nice and cheap insurance measure.


#34

I started on CoQ10 after I went on atorvastatin which supposedly lowers the amount of CoQ10 you normally have in your body. This has kept me from getting tired earlier in the day as I did when I first sent on the statin. There is a pill which actually combines CoQ10 with a statin, so it must be medically recognized as necessary for at least some who take a statin.


#35

U just responded to a 2 year old post.