New Treatment is Helping Diabetic Patients With Their Vision, and Reducing their Doctor Visits

Local News

Diabetes can lead to a number of health issues, such as kidney problems and loss of vision, which may be difficult to treat at times.

Finding a good remedy for loss of vision may have just gotten easier for some, as there’s a new treatment out there that’s helping diabetic patients, like 36-year-old, Jessica Salazar, recover their vision.

“I was first diagnosed when I was 18 years old. I was teaching before this happen. It does affect my vision. It’s harder to read,” said Salazar.

For the past 18 years Salazar has had to live with diabetes and other health issues that originate from it, like loss of vision.

This led her to leave her job and seek treatment that would help her recover some of her vision.

Like many diabetic patients, Salazar would go every month to receive an injection of anti-VEGF (anti vascular endothelial growth factor) on her eyes to help improve her vision, but all that changed with a new treatment known as Iluvien.

“All the current treatment for retinopathy right now require an injection,” said specialist, Dr. Victor Gonzalez. “This new treatment with this particular implant provides a tiny pellet that you inject in to the eye, and that little pellet slowly releases the medication over a 36 month period,” he added.

This new treatment can cost up to $8,000 per injection.

It may seem pricey to some, but Dr. Gonzalez says it can turn out cheaper than paying around $1,800 a month for the anti-VEGFs.

For Salazar, it has been worth every penny for her and family.

“My family has been very supportive. They’re always here for me for whatever I need,” said Salazar. “It does take a toll on them as well because for the shots and all that I have to come here, and I go under anesthesia and everything. This new treatment helps them as well because they don’t have to miss work once a month or take time off. It works for everybody,” she added.

Thanks to the treatment, Salazar’s vision has improved to 20/50.

Anyone who uses Iluvien is required to visit their doctor several times in between injections to check for any progress.

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