Does diabetic retinopathy treatment hurt?

Interview transcription:

We interviewed Dr. Leonard Teye-Botchway to understand whether Diabetic retinopathy treatment hurts and what precautions are taken to prevent any discomfort. 

Leonard Teye-Botchway: The two primary forms of treatment for diabetic retinopathy treatment are injections and laser. Neither of them hurt.

Diabetic retinopathy treatment: injections

We take precautions to freeze the eye with anaesthetic eye drops before giving the injections. Also, we take precautions to prevent infection following the injections. With the eye adequately anaesthetised, we deliver the injections with very minimal discomfort or no discomfort at all.


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Diabetic retinopathy treatment: laser surgery

With regards to the laser, focal laser photocoagulation or grid laser photocoagulation takes a relatively short time. Patients usually don’t require any additional anaesthesia, and there’s no discomfort. With regards to pan-retinal photocoagulation, it takes a bit longer, and some patients complain about a bit of discomfort, which leads us to perform the procedure in two or three stages.

Sometimes we do diabetic retinopathy treatment by giving injections around the eye to freeze the eye and prevent discomfort, but most patients can tolerate the procedure exceptionally well by just numbing the eye before putting in the lens.

About the author

Leonard Teye-Botchway
Consultant Ophthalmic Physician and Surgeon |MBChB, FRCS(G), MBA, FWACS, FGCS, DCEH (Lond), Postgraduate Diploma in Cataracts and Refractive Surgery

I am Leonard Teye-Botchway and I am the Medical Director and Consultant Ophthalmologist at Bermuda International Institute of Ophthalmology in Bermuda. The joy and elation I get from seeing patients who are very happy they can see after surgery is almost unimaginable. This is what really drives me to carry on being an ophthalmologist.

We have sourced some or all of the content on this page from The American Academy of Ophthalmology, with permission.