In certain cases, diabetes affects mainly the central area of the retina, called the macula, causing an increase in its thickness (detected by a special machine called OCT or Ocular Coherence Tomography-see chapter on ‘investigations’)). This results in poor central vision. These can now be treated with intra-vitreal injections (injections into the jelly in front of the retina) of certain new medicines. These usually have to be given as a course of 3 injections, at intervals of 4-6 weeks. These have shown good results in selected cases, even improving vision in these patients. The actual drugs used have unpronounceable names, so I will not mention their names here for fear of twisting your tongue. Yes, these drugs are expensive but the costs are coming down as their usage is increasing. In certain cases, long acting steroids are ‘implanted’ into the back of the eye by injection techniques which continue to work for 3-6 months before needing a second sitting.
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