Smiling woman feeling relieved after addressing her diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy

If you've lived with diabetes for a long time, you face an increased risk of diabetic retinopathy, a condition that can cause blindness.

Dr. Walter Choate has helped countless patients in the Nashville, TN, area manage their diabetes-related eye conditions.

Learn how our optometric center can diagnose diabetic retinopathy and what treatment options are available to protect your vision.

Our practice is located in Goodlettsville, TN. We are proud to serve patients in Nashville, Hendersonville, and nearby Tennessee communities.

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a type of diabetic eye disease that affects the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye.

High blood sugar can block the blood vessels of the retina, causing scar tissue to form. To compensate for this blockage, the eye creates new blood vessels. Unfortunately, these new blood vessels do not develop properly and are prone to leaking.

During advanced stages of diabetic retinopathy, these fragile blood vessels leak into the jelly-like vitreous that fills the center of the eye and more retinal scar tissue forms. This can increase your risk of macular edema (buildup of fluid in the central part of the retina), retinal detachment, and vision loss.

The Four Stages of
Diabetic Retinopathy

  • Mild Nonproliferative Retinopathy
  • Moderate Nonproliferative Retinopathy
  • Severe Nonproliferative Retinopathy
  • Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (PDR)

Diabetic Retinopathy Risk Factors

While diabetic retinopathy only develops in people with diabetes, not all diabetics will experience this retinal condition. Some of the factors associated with an increased risk of diabetic retinopathy include:

  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Extended length of time living with diabetes
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking and use of other tobacco products
  • Pregnancy

If you are a diabetic, you can speak with Dr. Choate about your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. He may recommend more frequent eye exams to catch the condition in its earliest stages. Many general practitioners in the Nashville, TN, area recommend their patients to our optometry office in Goodlettsville for their vision needs.


Our Advanced Technology Can Detect Problems Early to Help Preserve Vision

Eye care technology
Dr. Choate is board-certified in the treatment and management of eye diseases. Using the latest in eye care technology, Choate Eye Associates can diagnose different vision-threatening conditions. We can work with your general practitioner or an ophthalmologist on custom treatment solutions.

Managing Your Diabetes Can Help Prevent Vision Loss


If you have mild to moderate nonproliferative retinopathy, the treatments listed above may not be necessary. You can prevent vision loss by properly managing your diabetes and monitoring your blood sugar. Be sure to discuss diabetes care with your general practitioner or endocrinologist.

An Eye Doctor You Can Trust Treating Eye Diseases in the Nashville, TN, Area


Angela Pitts


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The entire staff at Choate are great to work with. Very sensitive and caring. I’ve been going working with this team since 2011 and highly recommend them!

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Amy Vantrease


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Dr. Choate and his staff are exceptional and really care about the health of your eyes. I HIGHLY recommend.

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Dr. Choate

Choate Eye Associates

Choate Eye Associates has been delivering high-quality, compassionate eye care to the Nashville community since 1979. We are affiliated with various leading organizations in the field, including: 

  • American Academy of Optometry
  • American Optometric Association 
  • National Board of Examiners in Optometry 

To schedule a consultation at our practice, call us at (615) 851-7575 or request an appointment online

Contact Us Today

"I am very pleased with the attention I received at Choate Eye Associates. Dr. Choate is very thorough and does a wonderful job of explaining what he is doing and what he is looking for in the exam." Dianal - Comprehensive Eye Care Patient

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