Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetes can cause a wide range of problems that need to be tracked to be controlled, but did you know it is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults according to Prevent Blindness America?

Here are four different eye diseases that those with diabetes are more at risk for:

  • Glaucoma – one of the leading causes of blindness for those over 60 years old, but can occur at any age. Glaucoma is when damage is caused to the optic nerve, often by abnormally high pressure in the eye. It can cause vision loss, eventually leading to blindness. Some symptoms may include severe headache, eye pain, and blurred vision. Effects of glaucoma cannot be reversed, however eyedrops, medications, or surgery may help slow or prevent vision loss, depending on the recommendation of your doctor.
  • Cataracts – eventually interferes with vision over time. Cataracts cause clouded or blurred vision, and can eventually hinder everyday activities. Fortunately, lighting and eyeglasses can help early on, and cataract surgery is generally a safe, effective procedure to remove the cataracts.
  • Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) – having too much blood sugar can damage the macula at the back of your eye, which can cause vision problems and even blindness. Treatment may involve laser procedures.
  • Diabetic Retinopathy – one of the leading causes of blindness in American adults. Diabetic retinopathy damages the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue of the retina. It may only cause mild vision issues, but eventually can lead to blindness. Treatment depends on which type of diabetic retinopathy you have and its severity.

The danger with many of these diseases is that they do not always present with symptoms until it’s too late. That’s why it's always a good idea to have an eye exam once a year, and a comprehensive eye exam with dilation is even better. Eye doctors can find these vision problems, along with even more health-related issues, with a comprehensive eye exam.


If you have diabetes (and even if you don’t), don’t neglect your eye sight. To locate a Surency Vision provider near you, click here.







Surency provides vision health information to improve the vision health of our community. The resources on this site are not intended to be used for the diagnosis or treatment of a vision or health condition and should not be used as a substitute for seeking vision or health care on a regular basis or when conditions warrant.