Diabetic Retinopathy and Glaucoma Treatments

Diabetic Retinopathy and Glaucoma Treatment in St. Louis and Chesterfield 

Our ophthalmologists have ample experience using lasers to treat many different vision conditions. In addition to LASIK and PRK, Drs. Bruce H. Cohen uses lasers during retinopathy and glaucoma treatment at our St. Louis and Chesterfield practice. For years, patients have relied on our expertise to maintain the health and quality of their vision. 

  • Laser Surgery for Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Proliferative Retinopathy
  • Macular Edema
  • Laser Surgery for Glaucoma
  • Open Angle Glaucoma
  • Angle Closure Glaucoma
  • Glaucoma Treatment

Laser Surgery for Diabetic Retinopathy 

Diabetic retinopathy occurs in many patients with diabetes; it can cause moderate to severe vision loss, or even blindness. Using laser surgery, Cohen Eye Associates offers diabetic retinopathy treatment in St Louis and Chesterfield for both proliferative retinopathy and macular edema, the two types of this condition. 

Proliferative Retinopathy

In the earliest stages of retinopathy, diabetes causes swelling in some of the small blood vessels that are embedded in the retina. Other nearby vessels may shrink. At this stage, many people do not notice any symptoms or experience vision loss. As nourishment is blocked to some portions of the eye, this signals new, weaker blood vessels to grow on the surface of the retina. Left untreated, these new vessels have a tendency to burst and leak blood and fluid into the vitreous, which is the clear mass that makes up most of the eye’s volume.

As blood leaks into the vitreous, the patient may notice vision loss in the form of cloudiness or "floaters." The blood leakage can eventually cause complete blindness if left untreated and should therefore be taken very seriously. Dr. Bruce Cohen offers effective diabetic retinopathy treatment at our St. Louis and Chesterfield office, using the state-of-the-art argon laser.

In order to treat diabetic retinopathy, the doctor will use the laser to seal the retina’s leaking blood vessels, allowing the body to heal and reabsorb excess fluid. In addition to sealing damaged vessels, we can shrink vessels that have not yet begun to leak, reducing the chances that they will lead to problems later on. 

Macular Edema

Macular edema is a common effect of the onset of diabetic retinopathy. As the excess fluid from damaged blood vessels leaks into the eye, it tends to swell and distort the macula, the central area of the retina responsible for clear, pinpoint vision. As a result, vision becomes blurred, and the problem is compounded by the cloudiness already present in the eye.

Dr. Cohen successfully treats macular edema with focal laser surgery, in which several hundred laser pulses are aimed at the affected blood vessels of the retina. Depending on the extent of the fluid leakage, patients may require more than one laser treatment to control the problem. Once macular edema is diagnosed, the chances of preventing further vision loss greatly increase with aggressive laser treatment. In some cases, vision can even be improved. To find out more about the benefits of using laser therapy in diabetic retinopathy treatment, contact our practice in Chesterfield and St. Louis and schedule a consultation today. 

Laser Surgery for Glaucoma

Two of the most common types of glaucoma, open angle glaucoma and angle closure glaucoma, affect millions of Americans. Fortunately, advances in laser technology have made it easier that ever to receive highly effective glaucoma treatment. Residents of St. Louis, Chesterfield, and surrounding communities who are experiencing this condition should contact Cohen Eye Associates to learn more. 

Open Angle Glaucoma

The eye is filled with a fluid that continually renews itself; excess fluid leaves the eye through small drainage canals. If the drainage canals become clogged over time, the eye’s inner pressure will gradually rise, causing the classic symptoms of glaucoma. 

Angle Closure Glaucoma

Much rarer than open angle glaucoma, this form of the disease occurs when the drainage canals become covered or blocked in a short amount of time. Angle closure glaucoma most commonly occurs when the eye’s iris bunches up over the drainage canal during rapid enlargement of the pupil. Entering a darkened room and driving at night are two situations which might cause the onset of angle closure glaucoma. 

Glaucoma Treatment

Dr. Bruce Cohen can use lasers to treat both kinds of glaucoma. Treatment at our St. Louis and Chesterfield practice will vary depending on which condition is involved. Angle closure glaucoma is corrected by creating a new passage through the iris that serves to relieve eye pressure. Open angle glaucoma treatment involves the use of a laser to open the eye’s blocked drainage canals. Both of these methods frequently allow for a reduction in anti-glaucoma medication.

If you would like to learn more about diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma treatment, contact Cohen Eye Associates in St. Louis and Chesterfield to schedule an appointment.

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