Diabetes is a rapidly increasing world-wide epidemic
Diabetes is the leading cause of vision
loss in the world
Diabetes is epidemic throughout the world, growing rapidly, and the main cause of vision loss in persons under 50 years of age. Good health and blood sugar control can do much to delay and slow the onset and progression of all complications of diabetes, including diabetic retinopathy (DR). However, with time, most diabetics will develop eye problems that require treatment to prevent vision loss. These include swelling of the center of the retina (diabetic macular edema), or abnormal blood vessel growth and bleeding inside the eye (proliferative diabetic retinopathy).
Retinal photocoagulation, developed over 60 years ago, has historically been the most important treatment to prevent visual loss from DR. With retinal photocoagulation, a laser is used to burn and destroy parts of the retina. Compared to doing nothing, retinal photocoagulation decreased the risk of vision loss. However, burning the retina caused problems of its own, due to the damage and inflammation it caused. In many cases, patients lost vision due to retinal photocoagulation alone.
In 2000, a new form of retinal laser treatment called “low-intensity / high-density subthreshold diode micropulse laser” (SDM) was invented, and subsequently developed, by Jeffrey K Luttrull, MD, of Ventura, California. By effectively treating the complications of diabetic retinopathy without any retinal damage, SDM (the basis of Retinal Protective Therapy ™) showed that the risks and side-effects of retinal photocoagulation were unnecessary, and that treatment could be performed more effectively without them. SDM led to a new understanding of how retinal laser treatment works (“Reset to Default Theory”) and thus new ways of using laser treatment for retinal diseases.
The unique safety of RPT allows treatment of diabetic retinopathy to be performed earlier than ever before; preventively, before vision loss or severe complications of DR develop. Preventive treatment is always more effective than treatment of more advanced complications of disease. With RPT, prevention is now possible.
In recent years, drugs injected into the eye have been shown to be effective for the treatment of more advanced complications of DR. For maximum effectiveness, these injections need to be performed every 4-6 weeks, for years, as problems may recur once the injections wear off. By treating earlier with RPT, the need for drug injections can be reduced, or – in most patients – eliminated entirely. And unlike drug injections, RPT is long-lasting and has no known adverse treatment effects.
RPT can also be used in combination with drugs, to improve the effectiveness of treatment. Such combination treatment can reduce the number of eye injections required to prevent vision loss. Given earlier, however, RPT may prevent the need for eye injections at all, and can reverse progression and severity of your diabetic retinopathy.
Because SDM RPT is the first treatment without risks or side-effects that reverses diabetic retinopathy, it is the first treatment that can be started early enough to actually prevent diabetic retinopathy. By maintaining the benefits of SDM RPT by periodic re-treatment, the risks of visual loss can be minimized.