The Diabetic Eye Clinic
At Saint Mary’s Health Care

An affiliation between the University Eye Center and the Diabetes and Endocrine Center, Thyroid Specialists of Michigan

Are you getting your eyes checked EVERY YEAR?

  Diabetes can affect your vision in many ways. 

  • Glaucoma, injury to the optic nerve caused by increased eye pressure, is more than twice as common in patients with diabetes.
  • Cataract, clouding of the lens of the eye, is two to four times more common in patients with diabetes.
  • Diabetic retinopathy, a weakening of the tiny blood vessels of the retina of the eye, is the most serious of the eye conditions caused by diabetes.


Even though these conditions can seriously impair your vision and diabetic retinopathy continues to be a leading cause of blindness in the United States, most people with diabetes have minor cases of eye disease, which require little or no treatment.

Early detection and treatment - Diabetic eye disease often begins with no symptoms, however, an eye care provider can see damage at very early stages.  New treatment protocols continue to develop and provide better control of eye disease progression.  However, starting treatment at the optimum level is critical.  The treatment is designed to prevent loss of vision, it rarely provides recovery of lost vision.

Annual Eye Exams - It is our recommendation (University Eye Center and the Diabetes and Endocrine Center, Thyroid Specialists of Michigan) as well as the recommendation of the American Diabetes Association, American Optometric Association, and the American Medical Association that patients with diabetes obtain a dilated eye exam every year.  Improved care for diabetic eye disease has been identified as a national health objective by the government’s Healthy People 2020.

In response to the government challenge to improve eye care for patients with diabetes in West Michigan the Diabetes and Endocrine Center, Thyroid Specialists of Michigan and the University Eye Center have teamed up to provide eye care services at the Saint Mary’s Health Care.


  • Eye health evaluations and consultations are provided on Mondays and Thursdays
  • Since appointments are by referral only, have your doctor's office make an appointment by calling 616.685.3098
  • Please note the Diabetic Eye Health Evaluation is a thorough assessment of your eyes with special attention to the tissues commonly damaged in diabetes. Unfortunately we cannot offer vision care for contact lenses at this time.  We apologize for any inconvenience. Please ask if you need assistance finding care for eye glasses or contact lenses.


Most major medical insurance programs are accepted, including Medicare and Medicaid.  Call our benefits coordinator, Lisa Roach, at 231.591.3833

If you are already getting annual dilated eye exams with your eye doctor, GREAT!  However, please make sure that you sign a medical record release and have your eye doctor send a letter to your primary care physician reporting the results.

Steps to take to avoid diabetic eye problems

  • Keep your blood sugar levels under tight control
  • Keep blood pressure under control
  • Quit smoking


For more information

For comprehensive vision and eye care (including diabetic eye evaluations) in Big Rapids please see Patient Care at MCO

Saint Mary's Mercy Medical Center is located in Grand Rapids, MI

Appointments are by referral only. Have your doctor's office contact us at.

Diabetes and Endocrine Center
MCO, Diabetic Eye Clinic
300 Lafayette SE Suite 2045
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

(616) 685-3098

(616) 685-3095