Anti-VEGF is used in treating wet macular degeneration. These injectable medications are proving helpful in both macular degeneration and diabetic eye diseases.- MDA

Retina specialists explore anti-VEGF treatments for diabetic eye disease

As the rising prevalence of diabetes drives demand for care across medical specialties, ophthalmologists are increasingly focused on the causes, prevention and treatment of diabetic eye disease.
Overall, 4.2 million adults have diabetic retinopathy and 655,000 have vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy. Indeed, diabetic retinopathy affects almost one-third of adults with diabetes who are older than 40 years of age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Because the incidence of diabetes is increasing worldwide, the risk for developing central vision loss due to diabetic macular edema is also increasing. In my clinical practice, I frequently encounter diabetic patients who are referred for symptomatic vision loss and I diagnose them with center-involved diabetic macular edema,” Diana V. Do, MD, said.

Risk, management, prevention

Diabetic macular edema is the major cause of vision loss among people with type 2 diabetes and “is invariably present in patients with type 2 diabetes with [proliferative diabetic retinopathy],” according to one study in Eye and Vision. In another report, Varma and colleagues reported a greater burden of DME among non-Hispanic blacks, individuals with high blood glucose levels and those with a longer duration of diabetes.
Carl D. Regillo, MD, FACS, OSN Retina/Vitreous Board Member, described a correlation between severity of diabetic retinopathy and risk of DME, saying that as the level of diabetic retinopathy increases, from mild to moderate to severe, VEGF levels in the eye tend to increase, resulting in a greater likelihood that patients will have DME and its related vision problems.

“It is true that DME can occur at any stage of diabetic retinopathy, but it is more likely to be present and to affect vision as the level goes up,” Regillo said. “It is often stated that the correlation between drying and vision is not strong, that’s true, but the reason the correlation isn’t perfect is because you can reduce the swelling but not necessarily improve the vision. However, what is important to realize is that you can’t improve the vision without reducing the edema.”…..

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Source: Healio