Skip to Content

Proliferative Vs Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

If you’ve been diagnosed with proliferative or non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy, you are likely researching what treatment options are available for your condition. Allow us to explain the difference between the two and treatment options. 

What is the difference between proliferative and non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy?

Non-proliferative means to remain fixed, and proliferative means to grow or multiply (or simply put, “pro-life”). 

  • A non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy diagnosis means that new blood vessels have been created in your eye’s retina and are beginning to swell. The swelling of these blood vessels is hindering blood flow to your eye and its ability to see clearly.
  • A proliferative diabetic retinopathy diagnosis means the swollen blood vessels are breaking and leaking into the eye. This can eventually lead to blindness and serious vision issues.

What are the treatment options for proliferative and non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy?

Laser surgery and a vitrectomy are the two most common treatment options for diabetic retinopathy. 

Laser surgery will seal the blood vessels to inhibit them from growing and eventually clouding your eyesight. It is a mostly painless, effective procedure. 

If your eyes are already clouded due to the leaking blood vessels, a vitrectomy would be recommended. This procedure entails removing the clouded vitreous (fluid in the eye) and inserting an artificial solution instead. This will allow you to see clearly.

Call Vision Eye Group if You Suspect Diabetic Retinopathy: 478-922-1410

Our team can assess your eyes to determine what diabetic retinopathy stage you are dealing with. From there, we can discuss which treatment option is right for you. You can greatly minimize your chance of developing diabetic retinopathy by controlling your blood sugar level, cholesterol, and blood pressure the best you can. Also, ditch tobacco use, as it can be linked to developing this eye disease. 

If you missed our last blog, we explained the four stages of diabetic retinopathy: 

  • Stage 1: mild non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy
  • Stage 2: moderate, non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy
  • Stage 3: severe, non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy
  • Stage 4: proliferative diabetic retinopathy

Make sure to check it out for more information about this eye disease.