Medical Minute: Stopping Diabetes Vision Loss

From toddlers to teenagers, Karen Poenisch has raised two sons despite what doctors once told her.

Karen Poenisch said, "The worst thing I could do was have a baby, and it was right after we got married."

Karen has lived with diabetes for 41 years and faces an eye disease complication of it called Retinopathy. Karen's vision loss has been mild, but doctors feared pregnancy could make it worse.

Karen Poenisch added, "To have none was just devastating. We really wanted children."

But against the odds, Karen took her chances. Today, her vision is good enough to make jewelry, but that doesn't mean it'll stay that way forever.

Laser eye surgery can help her, but doctors don't usually offer it until vision gets really bad because of its side effects.

Louis Vignati, MD Endocrinologist, said, "As a physician, you don't want to get to that point. You want to preserve vision, not allow people to lose vision, and not perhaps need other therapies."

Dr. Louis Vignati is studying a new option. The drug Arxxant works by blocking damage to blood vessels in the eye. In a study of patients with Retinopathy, the drug reduced vision loss by about 40 percent.

Louis Vignati said, "I think it's actually terrific. To me this is something that actually benefits someone you know."

Someone like Karen.

Karen said, "I think it would be wonderful."

Who would like to see everything in the ride ahead.

For more information, contact:
Julie Marks