Diabetic Eye Care

Diabetic eye disease refers to a group of eye problems, all of which are worsened by inadequate blood sugar control.

If you have diabetes make sure you get a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year. Early detection and timely treatment of eye problems can prevent vision loss.

Diabetic eye disease usually includes the following:

  • Diabetic retinopathy: Damage to the blood vessels in the retina, one of the leading causes of vision impairment among adults with diabetes.
  • Cataract: Clouding of the eye’s lens, they develop at an earlier age in people with diabetes.
  • Glaucoma: Increase in fluid pressure inside the eye leading to optic nerve damage and loss of vision. A person with diabetes is almost twice as likely to get glaucoma as other adults.

It’s essential to keep your blood sugar levels and high blood pressure under tight control. Both of these factors can make eye problems worse. Visit your eye care professional at least once a year for a dilated eye exam. Having your regular doctor look at your eyes is not enough – only ophthalmologists can detect and treat retinopathy.

If you have diabetes, what can you do to protect your vision?

If you have diabetes make sure you get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year unless your doctor advises more frequent visits. You can develop diabetic retinopathy and still see fine. It’s important to remember that regardless of whether you have symptoms, early detection and timely treatment can prevent vision loss.

Controlling blood sugar levels, elevated blood pressure, and cholesterol will help your overall health as well as help protect your vision. Talk to your doctor to see if a blood sugar control program is right for you.

What treatment options are recommended for diabetic retinopathy?

If you have diabetes, the good news is that with improved methods of diagnosis and treatment 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.

During the first three stages of diabetic retinopathy, generally no treatment is necessary other than regular eye exams. However, when macular edema has begun, or if diabetic retinopathy has advanced to the proliferative stage, surgical treatment is usually required. Macular edema is when the macula—the part of the retina that provides sharp central vision—swells from leaking fluid resulting in blurred vision.

Laser surgery is often helpful in treating diabetic retinopathy and can greatly reduce the chance of severe visual impairment. Macular edema is also treated with laser surgery using focal laser treatment. Focal laser treatment stabilizes vision and can reduce the risk of vision loss by 50 percent.

People with diabetic retinopathy greatly reduce the chance of becoming blind when they get timely and appropriate treatment. Although treatments have high success rates, they do not cure diabetic retinopathy. You should continue with regular exams and you may need treatment more than once to protect your sight.

What treatment options are recommended for glaucoma?

Glaucoma is much more common among those with diabetes. It can be treated a number of ways including eye drops, pills, laser surgery, traditional surgery or a combination of these methods. The goal of treatment is to prevent loss of vision, since vision loss from glaucoma is irreversible.

What treatment options are recommended for cataracts?

Cataracts develop at an earlier stage for people with diabetes. When symptoms first appear, you may be able to improve your vision temporarily by using new or stronger glasses, magnification, better lighting or other visual aids. However, surgery is the only way to effectively treat a cataract.

Cataract surgery is a simple, relatively painless procedure to regain vision. Cataract surgery is tremendously successful in restoring vision for millions of Americans each year.

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!!!