Retinal surgery / retinal disease treatment

The treatment for a retinal disease always depends on the type of retinopathy, the cause and the symptoms. Doctors differentiate between so-called "medical retina" - treatment without surgery - and "surgical retina" - treatment with surgery.

An overview of the most important treatments for various retinal diseases.

Diabetic retinopathy

There are various treatment options for diabetic retinopathy. First of all, it is important to adjust the blood sugar level well. Possible treatments are:

  • Laser treatment – the laser switches off diseased parts of the retina and scars them.
  • Drugs that specialists introduce into the vitreous body (VEGF inhibitors). Sometimes the injection of glucocorticoids (“cortisone”) also helps. The medicines counteract inflammation and swelling.
  • Removal of the vitreous body (vitrectomy) – instead of the vitreous body, doctors insert a liquid or gas, for example.

Retinitis pigmentosa

Retinitis pigmentosa is a very diverse clinical picture for which there is no “one” treatment. Doctors try to slow down the disease or bring it to a standstill. However, it is not yet curable. The focus is therefore on treating the symptoms. The following options are available:

  • Abstaining from alcohol and nicotine
  • Vitamin A (in some cases)
  • magnifying visual aids, glasses, contact lenses
  • Electronic reading devices, computers with voice output
  • Edge filter lenses – lenses with UV protection and filters for specific wavelengths
  • Blind training – Braille, mobility and orientation training
  • Cataract surgery
  • Retinal prosthesis
  • Social support
  • Self-help groups

Researchers are currently working intensively on therapies for retinitis pigmentosa. Examples include gene and stem cell therapy, drugs that prevent the destruction of photoreceptors and retinal implants.

Retinal vascular occlusion

The aim of treatment for retinal vascular occlusion is to reopen the blocked vessel and improve blood flow. There are various treatments that doctors can combine with each other.

The most important are:

  • Medication to reduce eye pressure – for arterial occlusions
  • Laser treatment
  • Injection of medication – the VEGF inhibitors – into the vitreous body

Retinal detachment

The therapy depends on how far the retina has already detached. If there is only a tear and the retina is still attached, doctors use laser therapy to “weld” the retina to its base. Otherwise eye surgery is necessary. place a band around the eyeball (rarely, in complex cases) or remove the vitreous body, attach the retina and weld the tears with a laser.

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