Diabetic eye disease refers to a group of eye problems that people with diabetes may face as a complication of diabetes. All can cause severe vision loss or even blindness.
Diabetic eye disease may include:
- Diabetic retinopathy—damage to the blood vessels in the retina.
- Cataract — clouding of the eye’s lens. Cataracts develop at an earlier age in people with diabetes.
- Glaucoma — increase in fluid pressure inside the eye that leads to optic nerve damage and loss of vision. A person with diabetes is nearly twice as likely to get glaucoma as other adults.
What is diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetes mellitus can damage blood vessels in the retina, causing diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in American adults. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina.
How should I take care of my eyes?
Often there are no symptoms in the early stages of the disease, nor is there any pain. Don’t wait for symptoms. The most important thing is to have your eyes checked regularly. Be sure to have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. Using an ophthalmoscope, Dr. Thom can diagnose and treat serious retinopathy before you are aware of any vision problems. He can also perform other operations to treat diabetic eye disorders.
Call Thom Eye and Laser Clinic if you:
- Have blurry vision for more than 2 days
- Suddenly lose vision in one or both eyes
- See floaters (black or gray spots, cobwebs or strings that move or drift when you move your eyes)
- See flashing lights that aren’t really there
- Have pain or pressure in your eye(s)
- Or have any other questions about your eyes.