Eye Blog

2015 is shaping up to be an exciting year for those of you who suffer from diabetic macular oedema (swelling or leakage at the back of the eye). This is a condition that can cause sight loss if left untreated. In the past the main treatment option was laser to the retina. In 2013 this was superseded by an anti-VEGF treatment known as Lucentis, better known as a treatment for wet macular degeneration. Iluvien, another option for treating the more chronic forms of diabetic macular oedema, became available in early 2014. I was fortunate enough to be the first eye surgeon to use this treatment in an NHS setting.

This coming year will see two more drugs being appraised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence for the treatment of diabetic macular oedema: Eylea (aflibercept) and Ozurdex (dexamethasone). Incidentally, both already have the European Marketing Authorisation for use in diabetic macular oedema ie: available for non-NHS use in the UK.

All the new therapies are administered by a course of injections into the eye. The frequency and number of injections vary with the drug and the patient response to treatment. The challenge for the treating physician will be to formulate a clear and customised plan for each patient.