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Injections better than laser for diabetic macular edema

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A recent study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology reveals that treating diabetic macular edema patients with Avastin rather than laser therapy is more successful in treating the swelling of the retina. While the laser option lowers the risk of moderate vision loss, it only improves visual acuity in less than 3 percent of patients. The study involved 80 participants who all had significant diabetic macular edema. Researchers were hoping to find a more effective treatment than the standard macular laser surgery since so few patients received improved vision from it. Researchers evaluated the effectiveness of Avastin injections into the eye as compared to the macular laser surgery. The 80 patients were then followed for two years. What researchers discovered is that the Avastin group gained an average of nine letters while the surgery group only gained 2.4 letters. In addition, almost 50% of the Avastin group gained 10 or more letters while 32% gained at least 15 letters. Only 7 percent of the surgical group gained 10 or more letters and 4 percent saw a gain of 15 letters. More studies are needed and researchers note that intra-vitreal injections are more invasive and carry greater risk of complications than the laser therapy. The study does show that Avastin is good as either a primary or additional treatment option for doctors who are treating patients with diabetic macular edema.*

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