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Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes and is a leading cause of blindness in the US today. Diabetes causes weakening of the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina. Left untreated, these weakened blood vessels can leak, leading to vision loss.

If you have diabetes, it’s important to work closely with your trusted Collins Vision eye doctors to stay ahead of any potential complications that could affect your vision. Our own Dr. Jason Friedrichs has special interest and more than a decade of experience in this area.

Dr. Friedrichs is a board-certified ophthalmologist with residency training from the University of Iowa, which consistently ranks among the best ophthalmology training centers in the country by Ophthalmology Times and U.S. News & World Report. He has more than 10 years of experience in treating medical retina issues and has participated in numerous studies related to the latest in injection therapy and latest laser treatments.

Diabetic retinopathy typically develops without any warning signs. Damage to the eye can occur slowly and may go unnoticed until there is significant damage. For this reason, anyone with diabetes should receive regular monitoring by an experienced eye doctor.


Treatment for diabetic retinopathy is highly individualized and will be based on your age, medical history and degree of damage to your retina. In its earliest stages, diabetic retinopathy may not require treatment beyond regular monitoring by your Collins Vision doctor.

If treatment is required, one of our trained physicians will explain all your options, including risks, benefits and alternatives before recommending the most appropriate treatment course for you. Treatment can include referral to a specialist for:

This is the injection of medication into the back of the eye to help reduce fluid leakage associated with diabetic retinopathy.

This procedure involves a laser that is used to finely cauterize and seal or shrink the weakened blood vessels.

In severe cases, the retina can become detached due to diabetic retinopathy and may require surgery.