For most of us, our eyesight is not the first thing that comes to mind when we think about diabetes. But actually, diabetes is the number one cause for new cases of blindness among American adults.1 Check out this video to learn how routine eye exams can help detect and minimize vision-related complications early on.1American Optometric Association
Diabetic eye disease refers to a group of eye problems that people with diabetes may face as a complication of this disease. All can cause severe vision loss or even blindness.
Diabetic eye disease includes:
Diabetic retinopathy. This disease is a leading cause of blindness in American adults. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. In some people with diabetic retinopathy, retinal blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In other people, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. These changes may result in vision loss or blindness.
In its earliest stages, diabetic retinopathy may cause no symptoms. The initial symptoms may be barely noticeable or mild. Over time, the condition can worsen and lead to partial and then complete blindness.
You should see your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms:
Anyone with diabetes. The longer someone has diabetes, the more likely he or she will get diabetic retinopathy. Between 40-45 percent of those with diagnosed diabetes have some degree of diabetic retinopathy.
No. Early treatment can slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy, but is not likely to reverse any vision loss.