Eye Injections Improve Retinopathy
An alternative therapy for diabetes-related eye disease (diabetic retinopathy) may end up replacing lasers as the go-to treatment. Called ranibizumab, it is injected into the eye, where it blocks the growth of weak blood vessels, which can break and impair vision. In a study, 394 eyes of 305 patients with severe proliferative retinopathy were randomly assigned to either one to three laser treatments or ranibizumab injections once monthly for three months. At the end of the two-year study, participants who had ranibizumab injections were more accurately able to read an eye chart and had better peripheral (side view) vision than those who received laser treatment. Only 4 percent of people who received ranibizumab injections required a vitrectomy, an eye operation to clear blood or remove scar tissue. The surgery was necessary for 15 percent of participants in the laser group. However, researchers caution that long-term effects of ranibizumab aren’t known yet.
Source: The Journal of the American Medical Association, published online Nov. 13, 2015