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Diabetic Eye Disease

Click here to find out the American Academy of Ophthalmology's view on diabetic eye disease.

How does diabetes affect the eye and vision?

Diabetes, type 1 or type 2, usually affects the blood vessels of the retina and causes diabetic retinopathy. It can cause  decreased vision or blindness in a number of ways:

  • Diabetic macular edema which is leakage of fluid from blood vessels in the center of retina or macula. 

  • Decreased blood supply to the macula and damage to the cells (photoreceptors) responsible to see light.

  • Bleeding inside the eye (vitreous hemorrhage) that can block light from reaching the retina.

  • Retinal detachment which is a separation of retina from the back of the eye.

  • Certain types of glaucoma that can rapidly result in irreversible vision loss.


Until very late in the disease, patients do not notice any change in their vision. Routine eye exam allows early diagnosis and treatment to prevent irreversible vision loss and maintain good vision throughout life. If you are recently diagnosed with diabetes or if you have not had an eye exam recently, contact us today to make an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam.

How is diabetic eye disease diagnosed and treated?

Diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed by dilated eye exams and imaging techniques including fundus photography, fluorescein angiography (dye test), and optical coherence tomography (OCT).


Treatment of diabetic retinopathy starts with controlling blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Depending of the stage of the disease treatment options include observation, intravitreal injectionslaser treatments, or surgery. In all cases, keeping your follow-up appointments with your ophthalmologist is essential in closely monitoring the disease and receiving treatment before any irreversible vision loss.

Diabetes NPDR

Diabetes NPDR

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