How Diabetes Affects Your Eye Health


Diabetes is a severe disease that impacts your health, including your eye health. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), diabetes is the primary cause of blindness in adults aged 20-74. Diabetes can damage the blood vessels in your retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye.

Here’s what you need to know about how diabetes affects your eye health and how to protect your vision.

Diabetes can cause several eye problems, including:

– Diabetic retinopathy is the most common eye problem associated with diabetes. The condition occurs when the blood vessels in your retina become blocked or damaged. Diabetic retinopathy can lead to blindness.

– Glaucoma increases the pressure inside your eye, damaging the optic nerve. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in people with diabetes.

– Cataracts cloud the eye’s lens leading to vision problems. People with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts earlier than those without diabetes.

– Dry eye syndrome: Diabetes reduces tear production, causing irritation and discomfort.

Diabetic retinopathy often progresses unnoticed until vision is already affected. That’s why it’s crucial to have regular eye exams, even if your vision seems fine. Diabetic macular edema is when the blood vessels in the macula are leaking. When it leaks, it causes swelling and can lead to vision loss.

The best way to protect your vision if you have diabetes is to control your blood sugar levels. You can follow your doctor’s diet, exercise, and medication recommendations. Regular comprehensive dilated eye exams can detect vision problems early. Yet, you may need exams more often if you have diabetic retinopathy or other complications from diabetes.

Protecting your eye health is part of managing your diabetes. Taking care of your eyes can help keep your vision sharp and reduce your risk of vision problems.

Windy City Retina is passionate about eye health and committed to providing comprehensive eye care for our patients. To schedule a comprehensive eye exam, please call us at 815-714-9115.

Windy City Retina – Ankit Desai, MD

15905 S Frederick St
Suite 105
Plainfield, IL 60586