management of background retinopathy

Last reviewed 01/2018

No treatment is indicated for simple background diabetic retinopathy (1)

  • is actively treated only if it involves or threatens to involve the fovea
  • laser photocoagulation is preceded by fluorescein angiography to try to identify a focal source of leakage.

Progression to more severe retinopathy is related to control of diabetes

  • progression can be reduced by intensive blood sugar control in type 1 and by both intensive blood pressure and blood sugar control in type 2
  • eyes should be checked regularly, often annually, for any progressive changes
    • in the UK, this level of retinopathy is monitored with annual digital photography in population-based Screening Programmes for Diabetic Retinopathy
  • ACE inhibitors may be of benefit (1).