Targeting diabetic blindness
UNM researchers are working to find a cure for blindness caused by diabetic retinopathy.
Leo Gonzales sits down for what appears to be an ordinary eye exam. Dr. Arup Das asks him to look up, then down and asks how his eye is doing. Then, as Gonzales reclines on a bed, Das leans over with a syringe and carefully delivers an injection directly into his right eye.
Diagnosed with diabetes in 1995, Gonzales moved to Albuquerque from Roswell a year ago to be close to Das for these monthly treatments. He couldn't have placed himself in better hands. UNM Chief ophthalmologist Das and basic scientist Dr. Paul McGuire are partnering to find a cure for blindness caused by diabetic retinopathy, which threatens the 19.7 million Americans (and 150,000 New Mexicans) living with diabetes.
The UNM Eye Clinic located at University and Indian School Road is getting a significant expansion with a new look. The clinic is part of the UNM Eye Center.
Ten to 15 years after a diabetes diagnosis, patients develop retinopathy, which causes blood vessels in the eye to leak into the central portion of the light-sensitive retina in the back of the eye, called the macula. This causes macular edema (swelling) and gradual vision loss. Current treatment options include injections or laser therapy. Read more. (Heidi Rishel Brakey/HSC NewsBeat)