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Maculopathy & Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment in London

At a glance:

Maculopathy & Diabetic Eye Disease



Highly variable. Blurred or distorted vision, peripheral vision limitation, loss of central vision


Diagnosed through imaging tests (OCT or SLO) that focus on blood vessels, retina, and macula. Use of angiography helps demonstrate abnormal retinal blood vessel growth and leakage into the retina and macula.


Depending on the degree of severity of the condition, it may include retinal laser, Anti-VEGF drugs, or surgery

Our clinic operates as a private surgery and is not affiliated with the NHS (National Health Service)

Diabetic Eye Disease (DED) 


Diabetic eye disease is an eye condition that can affect people with diabetes. The most common disorders of DED are diabetic retinopathy and maculopathy. 

Treatment for diabetic eye disease focuses on stopping the disease process, which may result in reduced vision if left untreated. Diabetic retinopathy treatment and maculopathy treatment are essential for preventing vision loss and improving eye health if you have diabetes. Healthy control of diabetes is also essential. 





Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition that occurs when high blood sugar levels cause damage to the blood vessels in the retina. Retinopathy can cause: 

  • blurred vision 
  • vision loss 
  • blindness if left untreated 

Diabetic retinopathy is linked to how long you have had diabetes and how well you manage your blood sugar levels. Poorly controlled diabetes can lead to retinopathy within a few years, while reasonable diabetes control can prevent it from developing altogether. 



Maculopathy is a complication of diabetes that affects the macula – the central part of the retina responsible for sharp and detailed vision. As the macula becomes damaged and swollen (macula oedema), it can lead to: 

  • blurry or distorted vision 
  • difficulty reading or recognising faces 
  • decreased colour perception 
  • blind spots in the central vision 

Maculopathy, like diabetic retinopathy, can be prevented or delayed by managing blood sugar levels and controlling other risk factors such as blood pressure and high cholesterol. 

Causes and symptoms 


Diabetic Retinopathy 

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when high blood sugar levels caused by diabetes damage the tiny blood vessels in the retina. The retina is the part of our eye that helps us see. These damaged blood vessels can start to leak fluid or blood, which can make the retina swell (oedema), become ischaemic, create new vessels which bleed, and retinal scar.

This can cause problems with our vision, like blurriness or even blindness if it’s not treated. In severe diabetic retinopathy, a retinal detachment can occur with sub-retinal fibrosis, which severely interferes with vision. 


Maculopathy is caused by damage to the macula, which is the central part of the retina. This damage is also caused by high blood sugar levels from diabetes. Over time, high blood sugar can cause the blood vessels in the macula to become damaged and leaky.

This can cause the macula to become swollen (macula oedema) and subsequently scarred, which can make it harder to see things. Once the scarring stage has been reached, diabetic maculopathy is untreatable. Hence the necessity for retinal screening and early diagnosis. 

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The symptoms of diabetic retinopathy and maculopathy can vary depending on the severity of the condition. In the early stages, there may be no symptoms at all. As the condition progresses, symptoms may include: 

  • blurred or distorted vision 
  • pain in the eye 
  • difficulty seeing in low-light conditions 
  • redness 
  • peripheral vision limitation 
  • floaters or dark spots in the vision 
  • loss of central vision 
  • blind spots in the visual field 
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Diagnosis includes the medical retinal specialist taking a look inside your eye to see if there are any signs of damage to the blood vessels, retina, or macula. 

During an eye exam, your Retinal Consultant Ophthalmologist will perform imaging tests such as optical coherence tomography (OCT) or scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (SLO). These tests provide insight into the structures inside your eye, allowing for clear identification of any areas of damage or swelling.  

If your doctor detects signs of diabetic retinopathy or maculopathy, they may recommend additional tests or refer you to Clinica’s specialist for further evaluation. This includes retinal and choroidal angiography of the blood vessels to show abnormal growth and leakage and direct treatment.

The most important part of managing diabetic changes in your eyes is regular check-ups, as early changes may not cause any symptoms. It is also very important to have the best diabetic, blood pressure and cholesterol control possible. Your GP and/or diabetes specialist will be required to assess this regularly, in conjunction with your medical retinal specialist at Clinica London. 


Treatments for DED may vary depending on the specific condition and the stage of the condition. In some cases, the same treatment may not work for both eyes or the treatment required for one eye may differ from that of the other eye. 

It may be necessary to treat only one eye at a time, particularly if the condition is at an early stage or is affecting only one eye. 

Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment 

Retinal Laser 

Retinal laser treatment is a standard procedure used to treat diabetic retinopathy. The laser is used to seal off leaking blood vessels in the retina, which can reduce the risk of vision loss and slow down the progression of the disease. 

During the procedure, a laser beam is directed into the eye, which is absorbed by the abnormal blood vessels in the retina. The heat from the laser causes the vessels to close, preventing further leakage and reducing swelling in the retina. 

Retinal laser treatment is an outpatient procedure that usually takes 15 minutes to perform. It is generally a painless procedure, although some patients may experience mild discomfort or a sensation of heat during the treatment. 

After the procedure, you may experience some mild discomfort, redness, or swelling in the treated eye, but these symptoms only last for a few days. 

diabetic retinopathy check up

Anti-VEGF drugs 

Anti-VEGF drugs work by blocking the action of a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which is responsible for the growth of new blood vessels in the retina. 

By blocking the action of VEGF, anti-VEGF drugs reduce the growth of abnormal blood vessels, prevent fluid leakage, and improve vision. These drugs are usually given as injections into the eye and may need to be repeated several times over months or years. 


In severe cases of diabetic retinopathy, surgery may be necessary to remove blood from the vitreous gel that fills the eye. This procedure called a vitrectomy, involves removing the vitreous gel and replacing it with a clear solution. 

During the procedure, our surgeon makes a small incision in the eye and inserts a tiny instrument to remove the vitreous gel. Once the gel has been removed, the surgeon will replace it with saline or another clear solution. This procedure improves vision by removing blood that is obstructing the view of the retina. 

Surgery for diabetic retinopathy is usually performed under local anaesthesia and on an outpatient basis. After the procedure, you may need to wear an eye patch for a short period, and you may experience some discomfort or redness in the treated eye.

male eye close up

Maculopathy treatment 

It is very rare for macular oedema to go away on its own. Maculopathy can also be treated with Retinal Laser and Anti-VEGF drugs, similar to diabetic retinopathy treatment options. Besides these, there are additional treatments to consider. 

Steroid Implant 

Some patients may not respond to anti-VEGF injections or may not be suitable for this treatment due to other reasons. For those patients, we recommend treatment with steroid-based drugs. 

At Clinica London, we use two different drugs for steroid treatment, both of which are injected into the eye, just like anti-VEGF drugs. One of the drugs is delivered as a steroid-releasing implant that is slowly discharged inside the eye over up to three years. The other drug is delivered as a pellet of steroid that dissolves over three to six months. 


In specific cases where the macular oedema is caused mainly by a band that is pulling on the retina, retinal surgery may be necessary. Our vitreoretinal surgeons can perform this procedure at Clinica London, Ms Evgenia Anikina and Mr Julian Robins. 

During the procedure, the surgeon will make a small incision in the eye and remove the band which is causing the macular oedema, with delicate intra-ocular microsurgery. Once the band has been removed, the macular oedema will begin to resolve, and vision may improve. 

Maculopathy surgery is usually performed under local anaesthesia and on an outpatient basis. 

Recovery & Aftercare 

After treatment for diabetic retinopathy or maculopathy, you will need to follow specific aftercare instructions depending on the treatment you received, to ensure optimal recovery and prevent future complications. 

  1. After laser treatment, you may experience mild discomfort, redness, or swelling in the treated eye. These symptoms typically only last for a few days and can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication. 
  2. If you receive anti-VEGF injections, you may need to return for several follow-up appointments to monitor your response to the treatment. You may also need to continue receiving injections over time to maintain the benefits. 
  3. After surgery, your eye may be covered with a patch for a short time to protect it while it heals. You may experience some discomfort, redness, or swelling in the treated eye, but these symptoms resolve within a few days. 

In addition to attending follow-up appointments and following aftercare instructions, you should keep managing your diabetes and controlling other risk factors. 

If you experience any symptoms or changes in vision after treatment, including persistent pain, vision loss or increased swelling, contact your eye doctor or our specialists right away. 

green eyes


We are very fortunate to have the skills and expertise of 4 Consultant Medical Reinal Consultants at Clinica London and a Low Vision Optometrist. 

Professor Michel Michaelides

Professor Michel Michaelides

Professor of Ophthalmology
Medical Retina & Inherited Retinal Disease Specialist

Ms Evgenia Anikina 1

Ms Evgenia Anikina

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
Cataract, Surgical Vitreoretinal (VR) and Medical Retina Specialist

Ms Stacey Strong 3

Ms Stacey Strong

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
Cataract & Medical Retina Specialist

Mr Julian Robins 5

Mr Julian Robins

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
Cataract, Vitreoretinal (VR) and Medical Retina Specialist

Ms Hannah Dunbar

Ms Hannah Dunbar

Consultant Optometrist
Low Vision Optometry Specialist

Our clinic operates as a private surgery and is not affiliated with the NHS (National Health Service)


How much does diabetic retinopathy and maculopathy treatment cost?

TreatmentPrice range
Retinal Screening Package From £650.00
Retinal LASER – Unilateral£1350
Retinal LASER – Bilateral
Consultation FeesNot Included

Initial consultation fees are not included.

If you have diabetes and require retinal diabetic screening and possibly treatment, please contact Clinica London secretary@clinicalondon.co.uk or call +44 207 935 7990 and our friendly and helpful Receptionist will be able to tell you more and get you booked in to see one of the Consultant Retinal Specialists. 

Award Winning Clinic in London

Clinica London is a leading ophthalmology and dermatology medical clinic. It has a sense of passion for helping patients. The clinic’s consultants are highly skilled professionals who have received British, European, and international awards in their respective fields. Clinica is honest and offers transparent treatment advice in a relaxed and comfortable environment.


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