What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy can damage your eyes even before you notice changes in your vision. Damaging your peripheral and central retina (the macula). During the early stages of the disease, the blood vessels of the retina can either become blocked (causing blood supply shortage) or leak and hemorrhage  (releasing blood and fluid into the vitreous (clear jelly in the eye)). Both of these progressions can drastically reduce vision and damage the retina.

In the United States diabetes affects approximately 9.4% of our population or close to 30.3 million people with diabetes, with the disease being one of the most common causes of reduced vision. Everyone with diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. The longer you have had diabetes, the more at risk you are of developing diabetic eye disease.


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Is Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment Effective?

Surgery to treat diabetic retinopathy is safe and effective – but it is important to ensure an understanding of the risks which may be involved. You should discuss treatment with your ophthalmologist. If you do not have surgery your condition may continue to worsen.

What Are My Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment Options?

Treatments for diabetic retinopathy include laser surgery, intravitreal injections, and in some cases, vitrectomy. Successfully managing your diabetes is a large part in preventative care. However, the surgical treatments that are available are extremely successful in maintaining and stabilizing vision.

Knowing your short and long term glucose levels is extremely useful in managing your care while preventing any possible vision loss in the future.

Meet Your Doctor


Shehzad Batliwala, D.O.

Board Certified Opthalmic Surgeon

Dr. Batliwala was raised in the piney woods of Tyler, Texas, where he attended the University of Texas at Tyler and graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. During undergrad, he launched a tech company focused on repair and maintenance of smart devices, which today operates retail stores in East Texas under the brand of SmartPhone ER. He then attended the University of North Texas Health Science Center for medical school, where he was elected into the Sigma Sigma Phi Honor Society. During medical school, he was able to marry his childhood fascination with outer space and interest in ophthalmology by earning an internship at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, researching visual impairment experienced by astronauts in zero gravity.

Dr. Batliwala completed his ophthalmology residency at Dean McGee Eye Institute in Oklahoma City. He then obtained further sub-speciality training in LASIK and presbyopia correcting intraocular lens implants at ClearSight Vision Correction Center in Oklahoma City.

Dr. Batliwala thoroughly enjoys traveling. In his free time, he enjoys listening to engaging podcasts and audiobooks on business, leadership, and all things outer space.

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