Diabetes & Eyesight—What You Need to Know

Eye Health

Diabetes is a condition that is closely linked to eye health and vision. Those impacted, can have blurry vision for reading and/or distance, see floating spots, have poor night vision, or even blindness. According to the National Eye Institute, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. Individuals diagnosed with diabetes should schedule an eye exam with a complete retinal evaluation and retinal imaging to check for diabetic eye disease.

Signs detected by your optometrist during an annual eye exam like abnormal fluids, bleeding, or swelling inside the eye can be indicative of diabetes--sometimes before you or a loved one has been diagnosed with the disease. Many of the 29 million Americans suffering from diabetes may not be aware of their risk for severe vision loss.

The types of diabetic eye diseases that an optometrist can diagnose range from mild to severe and can include:

  • Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy, a localized bleeding and leaking caused by damage to tiny blood vessels in the retina.
  • Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy, a bleeding and leaking accompanied by the growth of fragile blood vessels along the inside surface of the retina. Left untreated, scar tissue created by these vessels can lead to retinal detachment and potential permanent vision loss.
  • Diabetic Macular Edema, a localized swelling of the macula resulting in changes in central vision. Patients may notice visual distortion or changes in their prescription. In some cases, however, there may be no immediate symptoms. Long-term damage to the macula can occur if left untreated.

MyEyeDr. works closely with individuals living with diabetes to detect diabetic eye diseases early and prevent future complications. Protect your eyesight and schedule your eye health exam at MyEyeDr. today.