Proliferative retinopathy

Hello, I have had type 1 diabetes since I was 5, I am now 26, so 21 years of type 1. Well, this past April, I gave birth to my first baby, before, I had no signs of retinopathy or any other complications, but recently I found out I have proliferative retinopathy in both eyes. A few days ago I had my first laser treatment and I still have blurry vision in that eye, it looks like it does without my glasses, but i am wearing my glasses. My question is, will this clear up? If so, when? And also, I’m just really depressed, I want to be able to see my son grow up, will i go blind? Is proliferative retinopathy manageable at all?

Do you have cataracts? I have retinopathy also, but I have had about 100 or so laser treatments, and then surgery to help with the vision in my eyes. I guess it depends on how good/bad the retinopathy is. I’m not blind, but I don’t really have peripheral vision anymore. The blurried vision could be broken blood vessels in your sight path.

No, I dont have any cataracts yet, my left eye has no symptoms at all, I can see fine, but they say it also has proliferative retinopathy so they want to do treatment on that eye in a few weeks.

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I had laser in my left eye several yrs ago and a round in 2017. I have not needed surgery (though cataracts are showing up now. I’m goin gto be 60, so no big surprise). 2017 I also ended up having laser to my “good” eye. I would agree peripheral vision is a bit lost. I have to make sure to look side to side at people or objects, but otherwise things are not too bad. I get shimmers outside in the sun, and have some ‘scars’ I can see in the light, but my vision is pretty decent. The first laser treatments did last all those years, and I dont know why things went off track again, but I certainly can see well enough to do lots of things. Stay on top of the leaks and make sure you have a good doctor. My doctor has literally saved my sight. Don’t be fearful!!

I have proliferating retinopathy as well. I have a wonderful doctor who really knows his stuff. He has been treating me for eight years. I started having problems after 25 years of diabetes.

It’s been my experience that maintaining stable vision requires a lot of ongoing maintenance. There’s a lot they can do these days to keep you going with pretty decent vision. Some of it can be a little unpleasant but it works.

Yes, it is manageable!
I was also diagnosed at age 5, 50+ years ago. I was diagnosed with retinopathy and had many laser treatments in late 1980s, on both eyes. BG control was tough back then, but with new tools we have today, I improved my A1C and eyes have been stable since then.

Your pregnancy and birth may have put extra pressure on your eyes as well.

Make sure you are seeing Retina specialist, not just an opthalmologist. If your blurry vision does not clear up, contact your doctor. It may be temporary, as some swelling may have occurred from laser, but should subside.

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Thank you everyone for the replies, it makes me feel better about everything. Still scared, but it’s all good.

The clearing-up stage can take what seems a long time. I had a very bad bleed almost 20 years ago, and it took a few months to get completely back (again, minus some peripheral vision). Others have taken a shorter time. Don’t get discouraged; the eyes can and do clear up.

As others have said, retinopathy will seem worse right after laser treatments and then gradually improve. It is rare for diabetics now to go totally blind, as they often did before laser photocoagulation treatment was developed in 1966. Before then the patient’s pituitary was sometimes removed to slow the growth of new and fragile vessels in the eye, but this had drastic side-effects and is now no longer used. The laser treatment will limit peripheral vision and make a career as a professional sports player difficult, but if you are not into that, it will really not bother you.

The laser treatment is quite primitive, since it makes no attempt to cure the problem, but just burns away sections of the retina so the demand of the retina for oxygen is reduced, with the result that fewer fragile new blood vessels grow on the retina to supply that oxygen demand, causing bleeding when they break. Some ophthalmologists now inject Avastin into the eye to help control the formation of new blood vessels, but this has negative side-effects in some patients, such as stroke.

In the days when abortion rights were restricted, in some jurisdictions there was a medical exemption granted to diabetic women who were pregnant, since abortion in these cases was justified on the grounds that pregnancy was known to worsen retinopathy.

I find the loss of peripheral vision to be a significant issue. I am constantly bumping my head on cabinets and tripping over the cat. I hate being in a crowd of people. I don’t see anything coming at me from the side until it bumps into me because I’m not able to get out of the way of it.

I’d like my peripheral vision back, please!

Even though they are stupid, animals are happy because they are too stupid to understand what they are missing. The same is true for me at least with respect to the side-effects of laser photocoagulation treatment: although the peripheral vision may have been reduced, I don’t have enough vision left to see that it is missing. Death is sometimes lightened in the same way: since you will not be alive after you are dead to experience what a loss it is, and every moment of your life is filled with the experience of living, death is almost non-existent as a human experience, other than in anticipation.

Yes. At grocery stores or other stores, I feel like I cannot see people on the side of me and often they can get a bit grumpy about it…

The grocery store is the worst. People and shopping carts going every which way.

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And parking lots where people criss cross all over the place and dont stick to the lanes. Which describes my grocery store parking lot and so no wonder I am tired when I get home…lol…

I have the most trouble when I travel back and forth between Britain, where cars drive on the left, and North America, where they drive on the right. This means that I do not naturally expect cars to come from the appropriate direction when I cross the street, so I am shaken a bit when they suddenly appear out of nowhere.

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Same when I visited Canada. Very strange way to drive, the wrong side of the road completely threw me.

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