How Can Diabetes Affect My Eyes?

Diabetes affects about 26 million Americans and is one of leading causes of vision loss. It is estimated that up to 80% of those with diabetes will develop ocular findings from diabetes after 10 years. Like glaucoma, early stages of diabetic eye disease may have little if any symptoms. Only when diabetes begins to affect the central vision do symptoms of vision loss present. Many patients with vision loss in one eye from diabetes may not even notice since the “better” eye takes over or is the dominant eye. Only a thorough comprehensive eye evaluation can detect diabetic eye complications which can present as a spectrum of findings from very subtle swelling of the retina to severe bleeding inside the eye or retinal detachment. An annual eye exam is advised for anyone with diabetes and if there is already diabetic eye disease present, closer follow up is advised.