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.


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 Surgeon

Dr. Kelli Dyer, D.O.

Board Certified Ophthalmic Surgeon

Clinical Retina Fellow

A Board Certified Ophthalmologist trained in the medical and surgical management of ocular disease. She is a skilled surgeon trained in many procedures including advanced cataract surgery, glaucoma, oculo-plastics, intraocular injections and laser eye surgery. In addition to her comprehensive ophthalmology training, Dr. Dyer is fellowship trained in the management of retinal pathology including diabetic retinopathy, age related macular degeneration, retinal lesions, and retinal artery and vein occlusions. She performs diagnostic and therapeutic procedures including digital photography, angiography and optical coherence tomography (OCT) to evaluate for retinal and optic nerve pathology. Dr. Dyer uses intraocular medications and performs laser eye surgery in the management of retinal pathology. She will discuss all appropriate treatment options with you and ensure your visit is informative and enjoyable.

Dr. Dyer, originally from Edmond, Oklahoma, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from The University of Oklahoma. She completed her medical school training at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences graduating in the top of her class. Dr. Dyer completed her ophthalmology residency through Michigan State University’s St. John Providence Health System, where she served as Chief Intern and Chief Resident. Dr. Dyer completed a medical retinal fellowship at the William P. Beetham Eye Institute and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary through Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts. At the Joslin Diabetes Center’s William P. Beetham Eye Institute, Dr. Dyer trained under Drs Lloyd M. and Lloyd Paul Aiello, the world leaders in diabetic eye disease research and management. There she participated in many research projects and study papers that help define today’s standard of care for diabetic retinopathy management.

Dr. Dyer is board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Ophthalmology and the American Osteopathic Association. She is a member of the American Osteopathic Colleges of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and the American Academy of Ophthalmology.