Elderly woman with well-managed diabetic retinopathy looking at the ocean

Diabetic Retinopathy

Are you struggling with type 1 or type 2 diabetes? Have you noticed your vision starting to decline?

This could be the start of diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetes that negatively impacts your vision.

Our doctors can expertly treat diabetic retinopathy. We have convenient locations in Troy, Celina, Bellefontaine, and Sidney, OH.

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy? A Complication of Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes


Diabetic retinopathy is a diabetes complication that affects your eyesight and can lead to vision loss. The condition is more common in people who have had type 1 or type 2 diabetes for a long time.

The Causes Of Diabetic Retinopathy

Over time, high blood sugar can block the small blood vessels that lead to the retina, effectively cutting off the retina's blood supply. The eye attempts to create new blood vessels to replace the blocked ones. However, these new blood vessels are not formed properly and easily rupture and leak, causing impaired vision and vision loss.

Protect Your Vision Request a Consultation

Since the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy can often be gradual, annual eye exams are crucial for patients with diabetes. Catching this condition early can prevent further eye concerns, such as retinal detachment.

Our optometrist, Dr. Schemmel, is board certified by the Ohio State Optometric Board, meaning he has shown mastery in the field and continues to stay up-to-date on developments. Patients throughout Ohio come to our Sidney, Bellefontaine, Celina, and Troy offices for help managing and treating eye conditions.

Take control of your eye health by requesting a consultation at one of our offices:

(937) 492-8040

Dr. Schemmel
Dr. Schemmel served as an optometrist in the U.S. Army.

Hear From Our Patients

"Dr. Johnson has revolutionized this practice, with his new technology and thorough exams, eye care has never felt this safe and accommodating. If you or anyone you know needs cataract surgery i would tell anyone and everyone to go here. Completely pleased with staff and doctors. Dr. Schemmel works hand in hand with Dr. Johnson and his calculations and exams are spot on. Highly recommend!!!!" Siera Cornett

The Stages Of Diabetic Retinopathy

People might not show any symptoms in the earliest stages of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetics should schedule yearly eye exams even if they have no change in their vision and their blood sugar levels are controlled.
Call our doctors right away if you experience blurriness, haziness, or a sudden change of vision.
Call our doctors right away if you experience blurriness, haziness, or a sudden change of vision.

Nonproliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (NDR)

In this early stage, the retinal blood vessels weaken, creating bulges that can leak into the eye. New blood vessels have yet to grow (proliferate). This stage progresses from mild to moderate to severe as more blood vessels become blocked. If left untreated, NDR can lead to proliferative diabetic retinopathy and other complications.

Diabetic Macular Edema

Sometimes the buildup of fluid caused by NDR can lead to macular edema. The macula is the center portion of the retina that gives us clear, precise vision. As the damaged blood vessels begin to swell and leak, fluid fills the macula, distorting your vision. If left untreated, this can lead to vision loss.

Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (PDR)

In this final stage of diabetic retinopathy, the old vessels are completely blocked, so new blood vessels begin to grow. The abnormal blood vessels break easily, causing fluid to fill the eye and impair vision. Scar tissue also forms and can cause retinal detachment. The pressure builds as more fluid accumulates, contributing to glaucoma, optic nerve damage, and eventual blindness.

The Treatments For Diabetic Retinopathy

It is important to seek medical care right away if you are showing any signs of diabetic retinopathy. The team at Ohio Vision in Sidney, OH, can assess your symptoms and develop a treatment plan to slow its progression to PDR or vision loss.
Focal Laser Treatment (Photocoagulation)

Focal Laser Treatment (Photocoagulation)

Focal laser surgery slows the leakage by shrinking the abnormal blood vessels. This treatment can be completed in one session and can impede the progress of macular edema. Additional treatments will be needed to restore your vision.

Scatter Laser Treatment (Panretinal Photocoagulation)

Scatter Laser Treatment (Panretinal Photocoagulation)

This laser surgery shrinks the abnormal blood vessels through targeted laser burns, focusing on the periphery of the retina rather than the macula. It is effective in stopping leakage but usually takes two or more sessions to complete.



This procedure is recommended for those suffering from severe vision loss due to diabetic retinopathy. A surgeon will remove blood, fluid, and scar tissue from the gel in the center of your eye (vitreous). Over time, the eye's natural fluid will replace the blood that made your vision cloudy.

The Management Of Diabetic Retinopathy

While the above treatments will help slow the process of NDR, PDR, and macular edema, they will not cure diabetic retinopathy. Certain lifestyle adjustments have to be made to maintain your vision.

Managing Your Blood Sugar

Managing your blood sugar levels and continuing medications as directed is a good way to maintain good ocular health and overall wellness.

Lifestyle Changes

Your doctor may recommend a healthy diet, daily exercise, quitting smoking, and other wellness plans to improve your health and manage your diabetes.

Monitor Vision Changes

Stay cognizant of any vision changes to help detect diabetic retinopathy in its earliest stages. Annual eye exams can help you get ahead of this condition and maintain your vision.

Diabetics should schedule yearly eye exams even if they have no change in their vision and their blood sugar levels are controlled.
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Ohio Vision

Ohio Vision is honored to provide the very best medical and surgical eye care to patients in Mercer, Shelby, Logan, and Miami Counties. Drs. Johnson, and Schemmel are both board-certified and experts in their respective disciplines. We are proud to be affiliated with several prestigious organizations, including:

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • American Medical Association
  • Ohio State Medical Association
  • American Board of Optometry
  • Vision Professionals Boar

To request more information, or to schedule an appointment, please contact us online or call (937) 492-8040.

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