New Laser Provides Cutting-Edge Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy


An estimated 26 million people in the United States have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Another 79 million people have high blood sugar levels and other risk factors that make them at risk for diabetes. It’s a condition that can damage your kidneys, cause poor circulation, and lead to weight gain, obesity and mobility problems. And complications associated with diabetes don’t stop there. It can also cause blindness.

Fortunately, doctors at the University of Nebraska Medical Center Truhlsen Eye Institute now have one of the most advanced medical lasers in the world used to treat eye-related conditions. The French-made Supra Scan Multi-Spot Laser can be calibrated to treat diabetic retinopathy and prevent long-term damage to the retina at the back of the eye that is sensitive to light. As diabetic retinopathy develops, it cause blurred vision, dark spots, color blindness, and fluctuations in vision. The laser provides doctors more options to treat patients with diabetic-related vision problems than earlier lasers can provide.

“It allows us to apply a large number of laser spots in a variety of patients,” says Dr. Diana Do, a professor and researcher at the Truhlsen Eye Institute, who performed the first treatment on a patient in the U.S. with this laser. “Overall, it is more effective, efficient and may be safer than traditional lasers.”

If you have diabetes or know you’re at risk for diabetes, controlling your risk factors for complications is the best approach to managing this disease. Keep your blood sugar under control by eating healthy food and getting regular exercise. Get your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked regularly. If you smoke, quit. Report any changes in your vision to your doctor. And get your eyes checked at least once a year. If you do need treatment, this new laser can be used to protect or restore your vision associated with diabetic retinopathy.