Ophthalmology Procedures

Diabetic Retinopathy Eye Treatment in Chicago, IL

When looking for diabetic retinopathy eye treatment in Chicago, IL. look no further than The Kraff Eye Institute. Decades of experience, along with the most advanced technology, is crucial to managing diabetes related retinopathy and preserving your quality vision.

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy (DRP)?

diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic Eye Disease is a complication of diabetes that causes damage to the blood vessels of the retina, located at the back of the eye. The condition can develop in anyone who has type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The longer you have diabetes and the less controlled your blood sugar is, the more likely you are to develop this complication affecting the eyes. The symptoms of diabetic retinopathy, in the early stage, may only cause mild vision problems, but if left undiagnosed or untreated, can lead to blindness. Regular eye exams play a critical role in the management of diabetes.

What Are The Diabetic Retinopathy Symptoms & Signs And How Is It Diagnosed?

In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, you might not have any symptoms. But, as the condition begins to progress, you may develop these symptoms of retinopathy:

  • Spots or floaters (dark strings) in your vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Fluctuating vision
  • Dark or absent areas in your vision
  • Vision loss

Retinopathy is diagnosed during the dilated portion of an eye exam. Eye drops are used to widen the pupil, allowing the doctor to view the inside of the eye while using a special lens. The doctor may also do optical coherence tomography or OCT to look even closer at the retina. The OCT machine will scan the retina, providing detailed images of its thickness, which help the doctor to identify any swelling that may be present. Fluorescein angiography can also help the doctor see what is happening with the tiny blood vessels of the retina. A yellow dye called fluorescein is injected into a vein, usually in the arm, and travels throughout your blood vessels. A special camera is used to take photos of the retina as the dye passes through the blood vessels of the retina. These photos will show if any blood vessels are blocked or leaking fluid, or if there are any abnormal vessels growing.

Types Of Treatment For Diabetic Retinopathy

In the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, your doctor will just simply keep track of how your eyes are doing, recommending frequent dilated eye exams. In the later stages of the condition, treatment may be necessary. Treatment for diabetic optic neuropathy can't undo any damage to your vision, but treatment can prevent your vision from getting worse.

Laser for Diabetic Retinopathy

To reduce swelling in the retina, called macular edema, your doctor can use a laser to make the blood vessels shrink and stop leaking. This process is known as laser photocoagulation.

Diabetic Retinopathy Injections

Medications known as anti-VEGF drugs can slow down or reverse diabetes related retinopathy. Other anti-inflammatory medicines can also help to stop abnormal growth of the blood vessels and bleeding under the retina.

Surgery for Diabetic Retinopathy

Vitrectomy surgery may be recommended if the retina is bleeding a lot, or you have scars in your eye. Surgical removal of the vitreous gel can prevent further abnormal growth of the retinal blood vessels.

Schedule Your Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment Appointment

If you have diabetes, seeing your eye doctor yearly for an eye exam with dilation is the best way to prevent vision loss. Contact your doctor immediately if you have any sudden vision changes.

Schedule Consultation
Glaucoma Treatment

What Are The Two Stages of Diabetic Retinopathy?

There are two main stages of diabetes related retinopathy. The early stage is non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy, and the more advanced stage is known as prolific diabetic retinopathy.

Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (NPDR )

Background diabetic retinopathy, or non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy is the earliest stage of the condition, and also the most common. Many people with diabetes have it. With NPDR, tiny blood vessels begin to leak, causing the macula to swell. This is known as macular edema, and is the most common reason people with diabetes lose their vision. Also with NPDR, tiny blood vessels can begin to close off. This is known as macular ischemia. When this occurs, blood cannot reach the macula. If you have NPDR, your vision will be blurry.

Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (PDR)

Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) is the most advanced stage of diabetic eye disease. PDR occurs when the retina starts growing new blood vessels. This is called neovascularization. The new vessels are fragile and often bleed into the gel that fills the space between the lens and the retina of the eye, called the vitreous. If the bleeding is mild, you may see dark floaters in your vision. If the bleeding is a lot, it can block all vision. The new blood vessels can also cause scar tissue to form, which can lead to a detached retina. PDR is extremely serious and can result in the loss of not only the central vision but also the peripheral, or side, vision.  

Common Causes of Diabetic Retinopathy

diabetic retinopathy causes

The causes of diabetic retinopathy stem from high blood sugar due to diabetes. Having too much sugar in your blood can damage your retina, the part of the eye that detects light and sends signals to your brain to process a visual image. The damage starts when sugar blocks the tiny blood vessels that go to the retina, causing them to leak fluid or bleed. To make up for the blockage, your eyes then begin to grow new blood vessels that don't work well, and also leak and bleed easily. Diabetes not only damages the blood vessels of the eye, but the vessels all over the body. 

Possible Diabetic Retinopathy Complications

Diabetic retinopathy involves the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the retina, and can lead to serious eye conditions.

  • Retinal Detachment: The abnormal growth of blood vessels associated with diabetic retinopathy also results in the formation of scar tissue, which can pull the retina away from the back of the eye. This can cause the development of floaters or spots in the vision, flashes of light, or even severe vision loss.
  • Diabetic Macular Edema (DME): 1 in 15 people with diabetes will develop DME. DME happens when blood vessels in the retina leak fluid into the macula, the part of the eye responsible for sharp, clear vision. This leakage causes the vision to appear blurry.
  • Neovascular glaucoma: Diabetic related retinopathy can cause abnormal blood vessels to grow out of the retina and block fluid from draining out of the eye. This causes pressure to build in the eye, leading to damage of the optic nerve. 
  • Vitreous Hemorrhage: The new blood vessels can bleed into the clear, jelly-like substance that fills the center of the eye. In mild cases, you may only experience a few floaters in the vision but, in more severe cases, blood can fill the vitreous cavity and completely block the vision. 

Reviews For Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment Services At Kraff Eye, Chicago


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

This is some text inside of a div block.
This is some text inside of a div block.
LASIK Cost in Chicago

How Much Does Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment Cost?

Diabetic retinopathy treatments will vary in cost based on the severity of the disease, and the type of treatment the doctor recommends. Since diabetes and the conditions that it may result in, are medical in nature, your medical insurance should cover part or all of the cost of treatment.

Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment Financial Options

The Kraff Eye Institute is a proud partner of CareCredit, America's leading patient payment program. Care Credit allows you to begin your treatment then pay for it at your convenience.The Kraff Eye Institute is a proud partner of CareCredit, America's top patient payment program. CareCredit allows you to start your visioncare treatment at once, then pay for it at your convenience.

About Our Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment Specialists

With over 30 years experience, Dr. Colman Kraff is committed to providing the safest, most effective treatment options to his patients. Utilizing the most up to date technology and techniques, Dr.Kraff provides his patients with the highest quality of care, and the safest level of treatment.

Schedule Your Diabetic Retinopathy Consultation Today!

Schedule your diabetic retinopathy consultation today, being proactive can save your sight!

Schedule Consultation
Consultation Today

Diabetic Retinopathy FAQ

Who’s at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy?

Expand F.A.Q.

Anyone who has been diagnosed with diabetes, can develop diabetic retinopathy. The risk of developing the eye condition can increase as a result of:

  • Having diabetes for a long time
  • Poor control of your blood sugar levels
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Pregnancy
  • Tobacco use
  • Being black, hispanic or native american

When should you talk to a doctor about your diabetic retinopathy?

Expand F.A.Q.

Careful management of your diabetes is the best way to prevent vision loss. If you have diabetes see your doctor yearly for a dilated eye exam, even if your vision seems fine.

Contact your doctor right away if your vision changes suddenly or becomes blurry, spotty or hazy.

How to prevent diabetic retinopathy?

Expand F.A.Q.

You can't always prevent diabetic retinopathy, however, regular eye exams, good control of your blood sugar and blood pressure, and early intervention can help prevent severe vision loss. If you have diabetes, you can reduce your risk by doing the following:

  • Manage your diabetes: Making healthy eating choices, daily exercise, and taking your diabetes medication.
  • Monitor your blood sugar: Check and record your blood sugar levels several times a day. Report any irregularities to your doctor.
  • Ask about an A1C test: an A1C test reflects your average blood sugar level for a 2 to 3 month period. For most people, this should be under 7%.
  • Quit smoking or using tobacco: ask your doctor to help you quit.
  • Pay attention to changes in your vision: Contact your doctor immediately in you vision suddenly changes or becomes blurry or spotty.