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Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic Eye Disease

What is diabetic eye disease?

Diabetic eye disease can happen when a person has high blood sugar over a long period of time. This causes blood vessels in the back of the eye to leak or bleed. It can occur in one or both eyes. This is called retinopathy.

How do you know if you have diabetic eye disease?




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There are often no warning signs. The only way to know if you have diabetic eye disease is by getting your eyes checked. People with diabetes need to get their eyes checked at least once a year.

There are two ways to check:

1Get a dilated eye exam by an eye doctor.

2Some clinics can screen for diabetic eye disease by taking pictures of the back of your eyes.

You can help prevent or slow diabetic eye disease.

A drop of blood.Manage your blood sugar and blood pressure.

A Rx medicine container.Take your medicines as prescribed.

An eye.Get an eye exam every year.

How is diabetic eye disease treated?

People who have diabetic eye disease are seen more often by an eye doctor. They may also need the following:

  • Eye medicines
  • Laser treatment
  • Surgery
A woman getting an eye exam.
A elderly woman weaving a basket.

Diabetes increases the risk for common eye problems, such as cataracts and glaucoma.

  • Cataracts are cloudy areas in the lens of the eye.
  • Glaucoma happens when there is increased pressure in the eye.
  • Your eye doctor can check for these eye problems during an eye exam.

Alert - Exclamation mark!If you notice sudden changes in your vision, such as dark spots or vision loss, get checked by a health care provider right away.


Alert - Pregnant woman.Women with diabetes need to get an eye exam if they are planning to become pregnant and while they are pregnant.