Diabetic retinopathy can be treated with a laser to seal off leaking blood vessels and inhibit the growth of new vessels. This treatment is called laser photocoagulation and typically only takes a few minutes.
In some patients, blood leaks into the vitreous fluid and clouds the vision. Your eye doctor may choose to simply wait to see if the blood will dissipate on its own, or perform a procedure called a vitrectomy to remove the blood.
Small studies using investigational treatments for diabetic retinopathy have demonstrated significant vision improvement for individuals who are in early stages of the disease. There are medications that may be able to stop or reverse vision loss. These medications are similar to the very promising results that have been reported when the medications have been used as treatments for macular degeneration.