Eye injections save Sevier County woman's vision

Eye injections save Sevier County woman's vision

Posted:
Sevier County resident Tracy Price has been living with diabetes for more than 40 years, since her diagnosis as a child. She nearly lost her vision to diabetic macular edema. Sevier County resident Tracy Price has been living with diabetes for more than 40 years, since her diagnosis as a child. She nearly lost her vision to diabetic macular edema.
When Tracy Price's ophthalmologist, Dr. John Hoskins of Southeastern Retina Associates, suggested a clinical trial on the drug Lucentis a few years ago, she jumped at the chance. When Tracy Price's ophthalmologist, Dr. John Hoskins of Southeastern Retina Associates, suggested a clinical trial on the drug Lucentis a few years ago, she jumped at the chance.
"Oh, it has kept me driving, it has kept my quality of life, it's kept me working," Tracy Price said. "Oh, it has kept me driving, it has kept my quality of life, it's kept me working," Tracy Price said.
So far, it's working.  "She's got excellent vision in one eye and reasonable vision in the other eye," said Dr. Hoskins. So far, it's working. "She's got excellent vision in one eye and reasonable vision in the other eye," said Dr. Hoskins.

By LORI TUCKER
6 News Anchor/Reporter

SEVIERVILLE (WATE) - Nearly 26 million people in the United States have diabetes. More than half a million of those suffer from diabetic macular edema, or DME.

Blood vessels in the retina begin to leak into the macula, the part of the eye that provides detailed central vision. That, in turn, progressively distorts vision.

Sevier County resident Tracy Price has been living with diabetes for more than 40 years, since her diagnosis as a child. She nearly lost her vision to DME.

"Every few months, I would have another bleed, another leak," she said.

Laser surgery didn't provide lasting results.

When Price's ophthalmologist, Dr. John Hoskins of Southeastern Retina Associates, suggested a clinical trial on the drug Lucentis a few years ago, she jumped at the chance.

Even though it means injections directly into the eye, Price was happy to try something to save her vision.

"It's certainly worth it," Tracy said, smiling.

So far, it's working.

"She's got excellent vision in one eye and reasonable vision in the other eye," said Dr. Hoskins.

After FDA approval in 2012, Price began to receive routine injections. She has had a total of 60 in both eyes.

She says it's well worth it.

"Oh, it has kept me driving, it has kept my quality of life, it's kept me working," she said.

For more information on vision loss, and to learn the importance of regular retina (dilated) eye exams, visit www.diabeteseyecheck.org.

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