Diabetes Retinopathy Questions

Hello fellow T1Ds,

Has anyone has any experience with taking anti-angiogenic shots in their eyes for diabetic retinopathy?. After getting two very opinions from multiple doctors, I thought that anti-angiogenic shots were a better long term solution since I have 20/20 vision and due to the fact that lasers would destroy my peripheral vision. Any experience with what to expect would be extremely helpful.

Thanks!

Hi Daniel @dromanelli2, it is not a “guarantee” that you will sacrifice peripheral vision from LASER therapy. I was diagnosed with “diabetic retinopathy” in 1966 and had LASER photocoagulation in 1967 with a modified weapon grade RUBY LASER and since then hundreds of follow-up treatments, with various type LASER beams and my peripheral vision is now superior to straight-on vision.
I’ve also had an anti-angiogenic shot in my left eye in 2016 to stabilize the eye in preparation for my latest LASER. From what I’ve heard, including from the ophthalmologist who did my latest LASER, is that the shots can be the better option for many people with retinopathy.

I have a complicated set of eye issues in both eyes. I have had laser surgery, Kenalog (steroid) injections, and what you are asking about, Avastin injections. The selected treatment depends on the specific issue. If out of control capillary growth is the issue, injections like Avastin can be very effective. One of the issues in my eyes was treated with Avastin injections. The Avastin was very effective and had no side affects. Also, the Avastin is clear, and did not result in floaters like Kenalog.

If Avastin is indicated for your problem, I suggest you give it a try. Your doctor can always follow up with laser around the macula’s periphery if needed.

Best wishes, Mike

@dromanelli2 Daniel, hey there. I had significant peripheral (not in the vision center of my eye) retinopathy abated in my left eye (only!) 25 or so years ago. I am 53 now, and although I wear glasses for farsightedness, I haven’t lost any peripheral vision at all.

In good health,

Nancy

i had shots for many years until my doctor said let us see what happens with no shots. i have not had a shot in3 years now. my eye is stable. i was in a study many years ago and it required alot of laser, i have the complications of that. i am a diabetic for 56 years now. i hope all goes well with you.

anita

the original LASER made you night and sometimes color blind on the first treatment. I can assure you that today’s YAG LASER does not. In my opinion, for my on disc prolifitave retinopathy, YAG seemed to me to be the better option because there seemed to be less of a risk of injection site infection.

no new growth, no night vision or peripheral vision problems so far and it’s been 10 years since last treatment.

this is highly condition based, work with the best retina specialist you can get your hands on.

Hello Daniel
I started having these injections a year ago. They’ve been very successful. As others have said, it depend on exactly what issues you have, my issues were swelling & small blood vessels. My swelling wasn’t huge. I now have 20/20!
What to expect? Follow up injections were needed and time sensitive. Be prepared, 4-6 wks after 1st injections, additional injections are probable. You’ll need a driver, as driving is not permitted. Procedure itself, after pre-procedure tests is not lengthy. Multiple drops to numb the eye (at 5 min intervals), a sticker above (ensuring correct eye is done), a clamp to keep the eye open. Injection takes a couple of seconds. Recommend sunglasses as eyes sensitive due to dilation.
1st shot was Avastin thereafter Eylea (not all insurance covers the latter). 10 days ago had another shot, dr suggested going back to Avastin, as Eykea no longer effective. Not a fan of Avastin as some injections have air bubbles in syringe and had a black dot in my eye for 72hrs. It went so that’s what’s important. Now f/ups every 6 mths. (T1D for 43yrs)
Hope this answers helps. Good luck.

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During the 53 years since I was diagnosed with retinopathy there have been many wonderful and successful treatments developed. In 1966 the only “treatment” was removal of the pituitary gland which might slow the progression and provide a slightly longer period of sight - at that time ltal loss of vision usually occurred within two years.
In 1967 experimental Ruby LASER treatments began [the Ruby LASER is now on exhibit at the Beetham Eye Institute in Boston]; LASERS have changed and improved over the years and are still used for some people. We have other, and sometimes more appropriate, treatments now - seek out the best ophthalmologist for treatment and guidance.

Update: Since this original post I’ve had approximately 4 shots in each eye and my doctor says all the microaneurysms have completely receded. I will continue to take these shots in each eye about once every 2 months from this point on.

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Hi Daniel @dromanelli2, I’m really thrilled, happy to hear your wonderful news. I just wish that these treatments were around and in use 52 years ago when I was diagnosed with retinopathy.

Today I had another shot in my eye [AVASTIN] attempting to shrink some of the scar tissue on my retina - scar tissue possibly caused by some of the original LASER beams. I get the shots every 8 weeks - although the opthalmologist told me today that after my May 21st shot she may decrease treatments to 12 weeks.

Well I’m a little different, who’s that’s news, NOT! Anyway, I have WMD,( wet Macular Degeneration), due to diabetes. And I have been having eye shots using ilea. Not lately tho. Trying to stabilize eyes and see where they end up. With that cataract surgeries (2), but with that came some laser. I’ve had no deterioration of my peripheral vision. Was told it should but so far very little if any…
Hope it helps.
Charlie