Diabetes and Your Vision

 Did you know that diabetes can lead to eye complications?

Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults ages 20-74.1 Regular eye appointments are key to finding any problems early making sure you and your eye doctor have options.
Vision-related complications include:

Cataracts — A clouding of the lens of the eye that makes it hard for people to see.
This problem is usually connected to aging but diabetes increases this chance by 60 percent.
Your eye doctor can work with you on a treatment plan before your quality of life is changed.

Glaucoma — With diabetes, the chance of glaucoma goes up by 40 percent. Glaucoma
is caused by increased pressure in the eye which damages the part of the eye which sends
information from your eye to your brain. If untreated, it can cause blindness.
Early treatment can slow this illness and save your vision.

Diabetic Retinopathy — This is the most common eye problem for people with diabetes.
It causes blood vessels to leak or grow abnormally around the retina (the part of the eye that
takes in light). Without healthy blood vessels, the retina will weaken and vision is lost. It
affects more than 4.4 million Americans age 40 and older2 and is the leading cause of blindness among adults.3 Diabetic retinopathy is often not spotted because its first symptoms are hard to notice. Your eye doctor can see it during a comprehensive eye exam. Once found, it can be treated by laser surgery.

Finding changes in your vision early will give you and your eye doctor options.

See your eye doctor if you have any of the following:

  • Blurry, double or cloudy vision
  • Pain or pressure in one or both eyes
  • Trouble with your side vision
  • Floating or flashing lights
  • Dark spots

1. American Optometric Association, www.diabetes.org//newsroom/press-releases/2013/eye-health-research.html.
2. National Eye Institute, “Facts About Diabetic Retinopathy,” October 2009.
3. NIH MedlinePlus, “Leading Causes of Blindness,” http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/magazine/issues/summer08/articles/summer08pg14-15.html.