Protect your sight with Diabetic Retinopathy treatment in Brisbane

Discover how our personalised treatments aim to prevent vision loss and help you take back control of your life

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Get back in the driver’s seat of life

Learn how your Diabetic Retinopathy can be treated by one of our leading eye specialists

Protect your vision

Take steps to ensure that your Diabetic Retinopathy has been detected and managed at an early stage to preserve your vision over the long-term.

Overcome your obstacles

It’s important to us that our patients feel relieved and reassured, knowing that their eye condition is being controlled and that there is an expert at hand providing you with support.

Enjoy all that life has to offer

Enjoy your favourite hobbies and pastimes again, knowing that you have proactively taken steps to maintain your vision and your health.

Get your life back on track

After treatment, our patients feel back in control. Their friends, family and work colleagues are so pleased to see them back in the driver’s seat of their life.

Protect your vision

Take steps to ensure that your Diabetic Retinopathy has been detected and managed at an early stage to preserve your vision over the long-term.

Overcome your obstacles

It’s important to us that our patients feel relieved and reassured, knowing that their eye condition is being controlled and that there is an expert at hand providing you with support.

Enjoy all that life has to offer

Enjoy your favourite hobbies and pastimes again, knowing that you have proactively taken steps to maintain your vision and your health.

Get your life back on track

After treatment, our patients feel back in control. Their friends, family and work colleagues are so pleased to see them back in the driver’s seat of their life.

Leading the way in expert eyecare

The OKKO Eye Specialist Centre team is highly experienced in the diagnosis, treatment and management of a comprehensive range of eye conditions, including cataracts, glaucoma and macular diseases

Take the first step to get more clarity from your vision and confidence in your life

Book a consultation, and one of our Brisbane eye experts will guide you towards the very best treatment for your eyes so you can get the results you’re looking for

Book a consultation

Useful information about Diabetic Retinopathy treatment

Early or mild diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular oedema may not necessarily require treatment. Ensuring that the blood sugar levels are well-controlled can lower the risk of progression to more severe diabetic eye disease. Our doctors will communicate and work with your general practitioner and/or endocrinologist to try and optimise control of your diabetes and other aspects of your general health.

If treatment is required, options include laser, injections of medication into the eye, and surgery. Your doctor will discuss with you which of these treatments are most appropriate for you.

Development of proliferative diabetic retinopathy or diabetic macular oedema often requires treatment to prevent significant vision loss. Treatment options include laser, medication injected into the eye and surgery.

Laser is a non-invasive and painless outpatient treatment that is performed in the clinic. It is used to stop both existing and new abnormal blood vessels from leaking. Sometimes, several sessions of laser are required to complete treatment.

Eye injections are performed with copious anaesthetic eye drops and are a painless procedure that can be performed in the clinic or in a Day Surgery. The medication that is injected into the eye can counteract the growth of abnormal new vessels and/or stop leakage from existing blood vessels into the macula.

Surgery is usually reserved for very severe diabetic eye disease, such as when there has been significant haemorrhage into the eye from abnormal blood vessels.

Without treatment, proliferative diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular oedema can lead to significant vision loss.1Cohen SR, Gardner TW. Diabetic Retinopathy and Diabetic Macular Edema. Dev Ophthalmol. 2016;55:137-146. doi:10.1159/000438970

Early detection and treatment of diabetic eye disease is often associated with a better outlook for vision over the long term. This is why it is important to ensure that all diabetic patients are monitored for the development of diabetic eye disease.

The risk from diabetic retinopathy treatment is very low. Laser is a non-invasive procedure and very safe. Depending on the type of laser required, there is generally no pain to mild discomfort only. There are no significant post-treatment restrictions following laser treatment.

Injections of medication into the eye and surgery are also very safe procedures but are associated with low risks of infection. You may have to defer activities such as swimming for a period of time after these treatments. Injections and surgery are performed with copious anaesthesia to ensure there is no significant pain.

The risk from treatment is very low. Laser is a non-invasive procedure and very safe. Depending on the type of laser required, there is generally no pain to mild discomfort only. There are no significant post-treatment restrictions following laser treatment.2Uofmhealth.org. 2021. Laser Photocoagulation for Diabetic Retinopathy | Michigan Medicine. [online] Available at: <https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/tf4075> [Accessed 24 June 2021].

Injections of medication into the eye and surgery are also very safe procedures and are associated with low risks of infection. You may have to defer activities such as swimming for a period of time after these treatments. Injections and surgery are performed with copious anaesthesia to ensure there is no significant pain.3Healthline. 2021. Eye Injections for Diabetes: Benefits and More. [online] Available at: <https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/eye-injections-for-diabetes-benefits> [Accessed 24 June 2021].

If diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular oedema have progressed to the stage that vision is affected or under threat, treatment will be required. Without treatment, there is a high risk of progressive vision loss.

Laser Treatment

Step 1: The eye is numbed with local anaesthetic eye drops and the pupil is dilated with dilating drops.

Step 2: A contact lens is placed on the eye to hold the eyelids in place, and to help your doctor direct the laser to the required areas

Step 3: During treatment, you may notice bright flashes of light. There is minimal discomfort and treatment can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 20 minutes (depending on the type of laser). After laser treatment, you can go home immediately and there are no special lifestyle restrictions.

Eye (Intravitreous) Injections

Step 1: A local anaesthetic eye drop is used to numb the eye, and the eye is cleaned with antiseptic substances

Step 2: A tiny needle (0.31mm in size) is attached to a syringe of medication for the injection. There is minimal discomfort with an injection, however the eye may feel mildly dry and gritty after treatment. You will be asked to not swim for 3 days after an injection, and it is important to report any significant blurring of vision after treatment to your doctor as this

Surgical Treatment (Vitrectomy)

Step 1: Local anaesthetic and copious twilight sedation are administered to ensure that you are asleep during the surgery and will not feel anything.

Step 2: Three small incisions are made around the front of the eye, each approximately half a millimetre wide. Very fine surgical instruments are inserted via these incisions to help remove any haemorrhage and/or scar tissue from abnormal blood vessels that are associated with proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

Surgery is performed in a Day Surgery and can take 30-60 minutes. Most people spend about 2-3 hours altogether in the Day Surgery. You can go home after surgery but a carer will be required to check you out due to the use of twilight sedation. The eye is covered with an eye pad for the rest of the day and overnight. Not uncommonly, the eye can be temporarily red and gritty. You will have a range of postoperative ddrops to use, and often you cannot swim, garden or do any heavy lifting for approximately 2 weeks.

Ensuring that your blood sugar levels are well-controlled can lower the risk of progression to more severe diabetic eye disease. If treatment is required, early detection often means that there is a very good prospect of keeping good vision.4Nei.nih.gov. 2021. Diabetic Retinopathy | National Eye Institute. [online] Available at: <https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/diabetic-retinopathy> [Accessed 24 June 2021].

If the diabetic eye disease is more advanced, there may be some permanent limitation in vision. Your doctor will discuss with you the long-term outlook for your vision when making recommendations for treatment.

How to get help from our team of eye experts

Get the expert eye treatment you need in 3 easy steps

Step 1 – Reach out

Give us a call on: 3725 0222 and we’ll guide you towards an initial consultation.

Book a consultation

Step 2 – We’ll meet

During your initial consultation, we will take a detailed medical history and examination to make an accurate assessment of the issue at hand.

Step 3 – Your vitality restored

We will treat you at one of our state-of-the-art Brisbane eye clinic facilities, with the aim of giving you the optimism and confidence to re-engage with life. 

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Our expertise has helped thousands of Queenlanders rejuvenate their eyes

“Very friendly and professional staff. Dr Russell is extremely informative and has a really positive presence. The doctor and all of the staff ensured all my questions were answered fully. I left the surgery feeling as if I’d been really well cared for.”

Suzanne Cooper

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Alana Jenkins

“Dr Russell and the entire team should be commended for their genuine care and personal attention. They made every possible effort to explain and clarify the treatment required and made sure I was comfortable through the consultation treatment.”

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“Dr Russell is my hubby’s specialist for years. We love him. Such a kind person and always spends time to explain everything.”

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“Many thanks for your care and skill and a big thanks to all your staff for their friendly care and professionalism shown each time I have visited.”

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“My wife came to see Dr Russell today and we wanted to say thank you to all the staff for the kind and professional service. We are also extremely grateful for Dr Russell’s generosity when it came to us paying for the consultation. We wanted to reach out and say thank you so much!”

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Insurers

We’ve got you covered! We are registered with all the major insurers in Australia.
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Insurers

We’ve got you covered, OKKO is pleased to work with all the insurers below:
  • Australian Unity

  • ACA

  • CBHS

  • CBHS Corporate

  • CDH

  • CUA Health

  • Doctors’ Health

  • Emergency Services

  • GMHBA

  • GU Health Corporate

  • HBF

  • HCI

  • Health Partners

  • Health.com.au

  • HIF

  • Latrobe

  • MDHF

  • MO Health

  • Navy Health

  • Nurses and Midwives

  • Onemedifund

  • Peoplecare

  • Phoenix

  • Police

  • QCH

  • Reserve Bank

  • RT Health Fund

  • St Lukes

  • Teachers Health

  • Teachers Health

  • Westfund

Links to authoritative resources on diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition that can cause vision loss and blindness in people who have diabetes. It affects blood vessels in the retina (the light-sensitive layer of tissue in the back of your eye). Click here to read more.

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common form of diabetic eye disease. Diabetic retinopathy usually only affects people who have had diabetes (diagnosed or undiagnosed) for a significant number of years. Click here to read more.

People with diabetes can have an eye disease called diabetic retinopathy. This is when high blood sugar levels cause damage to blood vessels in the retina. These blood vessels can swell and leak. Or they can close, stopping blood from passing through. Sometimes abnormal new blood vessels grow on the retina. All of these changes can steal your vision. Click here for more information.

Our Brisbane eye specialists

We are dedicated to providing you with the best possible eye health and vision outcomes

Dr Nick Toalster, MBChB, FRANZCO

Specialist ophthalmic surgeon

I am an ophthalmologist with advanced training in cataract, corneal and glaucoma microsurgeries. As both an optometrist and an ophthalmologist, I am particularly well placed to lead the emerging field of eye disease management.

More about Dr Toalster

Dr. Matthew Russell, MBChB, FRANZCO

Brisbane Eye Surgeon

I am a specialist ophthalmic microsurgeon, internationally trained retinal surgeon, medical retinal diseases specialist, and cataract surgeon. With a career that spans over 15 years, I have mastered the ability to achieve precise results with the aim of helping patients regain their confidence and youthful energy.

More about Dr Russell

Dr Judy Ku, MBChB, FRANZCO

Specialist ophthalmic surgeon

I am a specialist in glaucoma, cornea & external diseases and cataract surgery. I am passionate about assisting my patients to achieve their full visual potential. I feel extremely privileged to have the opportunity to restore sight and to improve people’s quality of life.

More about Dr Ku