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The challenge of diabetes: How can lasers contribute to therapy in ophthalmology

The number of people with diabetes is increasing. As a result, more people are at risk of developing eye conditions. Jenoptik’s effective laser technology enables gentle laser eye surgery to help preserve patients’ vision.

Reports in the media and from institutes are full of superlatives like “Diabetes is getting out of control,1 ” or “The diabetes epidemic2.” Lack of exercise and being overweight are common causes of diabetes. But an aging population is also leading to an increasing number of people suffering from the condition. It’s a vicious circle that gained additional momentum during the pandemic due to people leading more sedentary lifestyles. According to a study3 by the Else Kröner Fresenius Center (EKFZ) in June 2021, approx. 40% of respondents had put on weight—increasing their risk of developing diabetes later in life. Amongst those affected were an increasing number of children and young people.

The problems associated with diabetes are far-reaching: As well as high costs for the healthcare system and society as a whole, patients also face various limitations in their everyday lives. These range from mental health problems such as depression, to a reduced ability to drive for example, due to hypoglycemia, and other health issues caused by diabetes. Eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema are of particular note.

According to the IDF Diabetes Atlas (International Diabetes Federation), more than half a billion people were living with diabetes in 2021. They estimate that this number will rise to 783 million by 2045. At the same time, global health expenditure relating to diabetes has already tripled over the last 15 years to USD 966 billion.

approx. 500 million people are living with diabetes

approx. 800 million will have diabetes by 2045

approx. 1000 billion US dollars in health costs

Eye diseases due to diabetes: prevention and therapy

The effects of diabetes-related illnesses are huge—particularly with regard to eye diseases.
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Diabetes can lead to secondary health problems such as diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema. While retinopathy damages the cells of the retina due to poor blood circulation, macular edema causes a build-up of fluid in the retina due to leakage from damaged blood vessels4. These eye diseases often have a significant impact on the quality of life of those affected.
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Early diagnosis

of these secondary health problems is crucial for effective treatment, as maintaining optimal blood pressure levels and minimizing risk factors helps to stabilize retinal blood flow and stop fluid from leaking. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, such as exercising and giving up smoking, can also have a positive effect.
Laser eye surgery has proven to be an effective way of treating diabetes-induced eye diseases.
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Using laser coagulation, leaky blood vessels can be sealed to prevent further bleeding and deposits. As a result, the patients’ quality of life is improved, while the procedure itself is associated with little pain and few limitations. In recent years, treatment has continuously improved, in a large part thanks to modern laser technology for laser eye surgery.

Our contribution to better care – Jenoptik's medical lasers for ophthalmology

Gentle, effective, and successful laser coagulation depends, among other things, on the laser used.

Jenoptik has decades of experience in developing and manufacturing medical lasers for laser eye surgery. For example, our 532 nm JenLas® has been used successfully in medical devices for many years, including in the field of ophthalmology. Jenoptik's wealth of experience in disk laser technology, combined with more than 25,000 installations, form the basis for an extremely successful product.

Thanks to continuous development over the years, treatment has become simpler and more effective for doctors, and gentler for patients.

Diode pumped disk laser JenLas D2.x

As part of a surgical console, the JenLas® provides the flexibility for a wide range of laser therapy procedures, e.g., laser eye surgery to maintain the vision of people living with the following retinal disorders:

  • diabetic retinopathy
  • retinal tears or detachments
  • age-related macular degeneration as well as glaucoma.

The miniaturized and lightweight OEM design of the Jenoptik laser allows easy and flexible integration in modern laser treatment systems. Reliable output parameters ensure the utmost precision and therefore gentle and long-lasting treatment results for patients. Many leading manufacturers of medical lasers have already chosen to work with Jenoptik and rely on Jenoptik's decades of experience and quality in the field of ophthalmology.

Extensive know-how in the development of medical components and sub-systems

When developing medical devices, Jenoptik's customers can depend on our extensive knowledge and wide range of services. From the design phase to manufacturing and servicing, Jenoptik is there throughout the whole product life cycle. What’s more, customers benefit from our in-depth application knowledge, understanding of medical regulations, and a professional network in the optical industry.

In this way Jenoptik makes a significant contribution to the development of efficient laser eye surgery technology, enabling gentle laser treatment that preserves patients’ vision.

Are you looking for high-performance lasers for ophthalmology? Just give us a call—we're here to help.


1IDF Diabetes Atlas

2DDG Deutsche Diabetes Gesellschaft (German Diabetes Association)


4Das Diabetische Auge (The Diabetic Eye)

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