Does anyone else here have diabetic retinopathy?  If so, how bad is your retinopathy/what treatment have you had?  And did any of you get retinopathy/have a worsening in it following a drastic drop in A1c?  Mine developed after I dropped my A1c from 10.4 to 6.5 in 3 months.  Apparently the endo didn't feel it was worth telling me ahead of time that it's a known oddity - a drastic and fast drop in A1c can temporarily make retinopathy much worse.


I was diagnosed with proliferative diabetic retinopathy two and a half  years ago.  I've had dozens of laser treatments, on both eyes.  I had a major blood vessel break in my left eye that didn't clear up and I had to have a vitrectomy in April of 2009.  Since then my left eye has remained stable and the retina hasn't bled at all.  My right eye continues to give me trouble from time to time, but clears on its own in a week or two each time.  I haven't had to have a laser treatment in over a year.

Hello Kari, My youngest sister had severe retinopathy in her late teens and lost her sight. She was one of the first people in the country to go on the insulin pump. She went from ages 4- 20 with very high and uncontrolled blood sugars. The doctors could not find a regimen that worked for her. Once she was on the pump her blood sugars came down to a good range, they did laser surgery and with glasses she has 20/20 vision. That was 25 years ago. She now teaches 8th grade science.

Getting her blood sugar under control was key. She has only had one minor hemorrhage since going on the pump and all of the other complicaions she was experiencing have been minimized. I hope you can find a good solution.

I have had it quite bad. It came about after I received my first pump and dropped my A1c from 11.4 to 8.? in the space of about 6 weeks (it continued to drop to 7.2 after 3 months on the pump). The retinopathy became noticable after about another 6 months. No one told me either that this can be a result of improving A1c quickly.

I've had laser in both eyes and vitrectomys in both. They tell me I have 20/20 vision now but I'm not convinced it's what it used to be.

I think we just have to be thankful for what vision we've got.

Hi! This is my first BLOG!  I have had the big D for almost 28 years.  I am a 38 year old mom of a 9 year old boy.  I just found out 7 weeks ago that I have retinopathy in my right eye. 

I have had 1 laser treatment so far and my vision has not really improved at all.  I go back to the specialist on March 15t... i hope to know more then of whats going on.  I have major issues with reading anything... its hard to focus... really frustrating!!!  After the laser treatment I had to take about a week off of work because I couldn't make out the e-mail messages that I'm required to work on.

Does anyone know if this will be the case after each laser treatment?  I'm scared to death tpo lose my sight!!!  Anyone have a positive outlook to tell me about?

: (




Hi Jennifer.  Just wondering, did your retinopathy come on all of a sudden?  In my case, I had been seeing floaters for somewhere between 4 and 6 months before I finally got it checked out (I was in the middle of changing jobs, moving to another city, selling one house and buying another...  just "no time" to get it checked out - my mistake in the end).  My retinopathy was so far advanced that the laser that they tried just didn't work.  So, starting about ten years ago and over the course of about 15 months, I had four vitrectomies, which involved invasive surgery, two in each eye.  I won't go too far into the details, but want to let you know that I completely understand your fears - I was there (you and I are just a few years apart in age)...  I wondered how I would manage life and all its demands if I ended up blind...  There is a good outcome in the fact that although I will never again have 20/20 vision, I CAN see!  I still read, do computer work and most importantly for me, drive!  I am a little limited in some other activities, such as "quick-action" aports like baseball or volleyball, but I can live with that!

I know it's a scary thing to go through.  Take comfort in the fact that medical technology has just come so far and that your medical team will do everything in their power to help you!  Good luck!

Hi.  Thanks for your response.  I go back to see my retinal team next Tuesday.  Reading is extremely difficult some days, even changing the TV channel and not being able to tell what the title of the show is, is frustrating.  I constantly feel like I am straining to make things out.  Are these some of thew things that you went through as well? 




So after just over 1 year since my second vitrectomy I have just been back to my eye specialist who is very pleased with my progress. After having the laser and the operations it does take a long time for your eyes to recover!!!! It can seem so slow you don't notice the improvements until your at the doctors office and they tell you about the change. He also told me I do now have 20/20 vision in both eyes so although it is an extremely aweful experience to go through at the time and you wonder each day after the work is done if/when you will see "properly" again, you just have to breath and hope for the best.

Good luck Jennifer!!!!

Thank you so much for your reply!  I feel a little better! I'm glad to hear you are doing better with it  I will update after my appointment next week! 


Hi,this is my first post ever, I am so glad I found this site. I've had retinopathy for 20 years and I've had my 1st laser in both eyes last june, I've also had that vitrectomy surgery in my left eye last year. I had no idea that a drop in your a1c could affect your retinopathy. I went from a 10 to 7 in 2 months. I remember the day of surgery I was really sad, I kept thinking what if I would have taken better care of myself, this is my fault. The surgery wasn't bad, it was the recovery that bit, I had to be face down for 2 weeks because they filled my eye up with gas. At the time I hated it but now I am happy with the results, I can see again. Now this year the Dr is telling me I have to have surgery again, I have retina degeneration,  I think of it as having a scab on your retina that the Dr has to take off. After all this, I am thankful that I have vision in both eyes, 2 healthy teenagers, and a so far some what healthy life. I've had the big D for 31 years. ~Lori

Hmm, I've been seeing floaters now for a while too. During my last eye check up my optometrist asked if I had any markings in my eye that moved with my eye - I wasn't sure at the time but now I've realized that there is a faint black spot that moves with my right eye. I guess this is the first step in retinopathy. 

Kari - I think a sudden increase in control (brought my A1C down from about 7.5 to 6 when I got to university) caused some proliferation for me as well. As soon as it began, I started seeing floaters all the time. I have heard a lot of anecdotal evidence, though, that keeping in control can definitely halt the progression of retinopathy  

The exact thing happened to me!  Quite a shock - but now all seems fine.