Retinal swelling can be treated using laser or steroids in or around the eye. Laser treatment applied to the retina encourages local absorption of fluid. Laser is administered in a clinic procedure room using numbing eye drops and a contact lens that focuses the laser light.
Steroid treatment may involve an injection around or inside the eye. The steroid treatment decreases the swelling by reducing the inflammation associated with the abnormal blood vessels. Injection of steroid in the eye is performed in the clinic with numbing drops administered beforehand.
Occasionally, repeated laser treatments or steroid injections are needed. If there are growing blood vessels in the back of the eye, laser treatment in the retinal periphery may be needed. This treatment is more extensive and may require two sessions and/or a numbing injection around the eye.