Diabetic Retinopathy Information

Early detection of diabetic retinopathy is the best protection against loss of vision.

We suggest that people with diabetes should schedule eye examinations at least once a year.

What is diabetic retinopathy?

Of the almost 20 million people in the US with diabetes, almost half will eventually develop some sort of diabetic eye disease such as diabetic retinopathy, cataract, or glaucoma. Diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of vision impairment for adults with diabetes.

Diabetic retinopathy is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the eye. In the earliest stage, tiny blood vessels within the retina become damaged and leak blood or fluid. At the most advanced stage, signals sent by the retina for nourishment trigger the growth of new blood vessels. These new blood vessels are abnormal and fragile and if they leak blood, severe vision loss and even blindness can result.

Who gets diabetic retinopathy and what are the symptoms?

All people with diabetes are at risk, both Type I diabetes (juvenile onset) and Type II diabetes (adult onset). The longer a person has diabetes, the higher the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Around 80% of the people who have had diabetes for at least 15 years have some blood vessel damage to their retina. Pregnancy and high blood pressure are thought to aggravate diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes. Diabetic retinopathy is often present without any symptoms. Vision changes may not occur until the disease has progressed severely, resulting in distortion and blurring. Early detection of diabetic retinopathy is the best protection against loss of vision.

What treatment options are recommended for diabetic retinopathy?

If you have diabetes, the good news is that with improved methods of diagnosis and treatments, only a small percentage of people who develop retinopathy have serious vision problems. The best protection against diabetic retinopathy is to have regular medical eye examinations. People with diabetes should schedule eye examinations at least once a year. More frequent medical eye examinations may be necessary once diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed.

In many cases treatment isn’t necessary. In other cases, treatment is recommended to stop the damage of diabetic retinopathy and improve sight. By controlling blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol, the progression of nonproliferative retinopathy can oftentimes be halted. However, if diabetic retinopathy has advanced to the proliferative stage, surgical treatment is usually required.

Laser surgery is often helpful in treating diabetic retinopathy and can greatly reduce the chance of severe visual impairment. When the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the retina has caused bleeding, a vitrectomy may be required. This procedure removes blood clouding the vitreous gel at the center of the eye. This is typically done as an outpatient procedure.

If you have diabetes, by working in partnership with your doctor and taking good care of your health, vision loss is largely preventable.

Click here to learn more about diabetic eye care, including your surgical options.

What Our Patients Are Saying

My appointments were long, but you explained what was going on and I appreciate your taking the time to help me understand my options. I feel good that I made the right choices and also about my vision. I think it is in good care with you. Thank you very much.


I was impressed by the professionalism of the office staff from check in to exams to checkout. At my cataract surgeries I felt safe and secure in their procedures. Dr Spaulding performed my surgeries and I would recommend him to anyone needing the services he offers. He was both personable and professional.


A Rewarding Experience, Between Veteran's Affairs, Tri West Healthcare Alliance and Cataract & Laser Institute. Dr. Christopher Jovez, O.D, of the VA, arranged through Tri West Health Care Alliance, for me to meet Dr. Tina Rutar, M.D. of Cataract & Laser Institute for Cataract and Strabismus surgery. Both procedures were performed sucessfully in a timely and professional manner with great results. I am greatly pleased with Dr. Rutar and her team and employees at C & L Institute and their professionalism.

RobertArmy Veteran

This place is filled with staff who values everyone who walks into their office. They take their time to show every patient the same level of excellence care and service. As response to the negative comments, I for one don't want anyone rushing to get me out the door, without full proper correction of what ever brought me in to their office. The office management, Janice and Paula have always been friendly and make sure that they have had great staff to provide only the best.


I can't rave enough about the amazing Dr. Rutar. I deeply respect and admire her skill and knowledge. I had strabismus (eye muscle) surgery done by Dr. Rutar February 2018. I'm 32 and my left eye has been "lazy" my whole life, due to an underdeveloped muscle. More than a year later, my eyes are still aligned. The incisions healed beautifully and my depth perception is spot on. You'd never know what my eyes have been though and I'll be scheduling an appointment for contacts soon. If you're considering this surgery, as scary may seem, I urge you to push through that fear. It was well worth it. My life has changed for the better because of it. Telling Dr. Rutar, "thank you" - will never be enough.


I had a great experience here. I was greeted promptly and treated courteously. Dr Spaulding and his staff were amazing. The length of my visit was to be expected for visiting a doctors office. I would not change a thing with the experience. Thank you!!!


The entire experience was impressive! The prep nurses were great and the surgery was not a problem because I was put under and can’t remember anything.???? Dr. Spaulding did a great job! I’m very thankful and Blessed to have my sight back.


I could not be more pleased by the treatment I received from Dr. Rutar and her staff. She performed two cataract surgeries for me and each time she carefully explained all the options and risks along with the likely outcomes. I was completely confident in her approach, as well as in her staff, who are very pleasant and professional.


It is easier for me to find a Ruby than a doctor like Tina. She loves her job and her patients.


The level of professionalism, kindness and care given to me before, during and after my Cataract surgery was excellent. Given the public's concern over the C-virus every preventative measure of protection was taken. The prep and recovery nurses made sure I was comfortable & remained calm before and following the surgery. Dr. Spaulding’s surgery technique is perfection.


1 one of the most professional office i seen. Very clean. Appointment on time. Staff very nice.

ECB Klamath

Dr. Rutar has a kind, gentle, positive manner in which she cares for my condition. She is honest & thorough. Thank you!


I’ve purchased two pairs of prescription Oakleys from the optical shop here, one sunglasses and the other progressives. They had an excellent selection of both high-end and budget frames and Gary and Jenny were very helpful in choosing and fitting the frames. Both sets of glasses turned out great—amazingly clear and comfortable! Highly recommended!


Dr. Rutar, you and your staff need to know that you could easily become the model of how your type of center should be run. There is such a strong feeling of caring from the staff, to the examination, to the nurses, and of course, to you Dr. Rutar.

One of the key attributes about your is that you always tell your patient what you are doing before you do it. I like that. I sure appreciate your working with me on various key points.

I know this world is a better place having you as a physician. I appreciate you and all your hard work and dedication to your patients.


Had debris in my eyes. Didn't think I flushed it all out. They got me in within a couple hours of calling and checked my eyes out for me. Very Professional and friendly staff. Highly recommend them. Thank you Dr. Barrus 🙂


I love Dr. Rutar and her whole crew of helpers. I was so nervous about having the 2 eye surgeries, but the surgery girls were so nice, helpful & encouraging, and made me feel at ease!

Dr. Rampton (anesthesiologist) explained what he was going to do.

I went through both surgeries and tests and I would refer everyone I know to come to Cataract & Laser!

Thank you for your care.


Other than some billing issues I am more than pleased with my results. Dr. Rutar made the experience safe and easy. Thank you.


I was very impressed with Dr Rutar. She immediately ordered the proper blood tests to diagnose my rare disease. It was missed by other physicians for over 5 years. It's great to finally know!


Terry and Wendy (in the surgery center) were WONDERFUL, PROFESSIONAL, and explained everything to me. They are amazing at what they do. I highly recommend the office. It is a caring environment with friendly staff. My first surgery was done at another location and they did not give me discharge instructions. Here they not only gave me the instructions, but took the time to explain it all to me. Thank you again for a great experience!!!