What Is Diabetic Eye Disease?

Dr. Mai-Vy Hoang 11/07/2016

woman-having-eyes-examined.pngDiabetic eye disease includes an array of eye problems — diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts — that result from diabetes. The most prevalent diabetic eye disease is diabetic retinopathy. It is the top cause of blindness and general vision loss amongst adults between the ages of 20 and 74. Upwards of 7.7 million individuals over the age of 40 suffer from diabetic retinopathy. This figure will likely balloon to over 11 million in the next decade and a half.

Diabetic Retinopathy

If a diabetic patient fails to monitor his blood sugar level and consume a healthy diet, the chances of diabetic retinopathy will increase. Diabetic retinopathy is a deterioration of the retina's small blood vessels. It is the most common eye disease that results from diabetes. If diabetes results in diabetic retinopathy, the patient could lose his vision.   


Eye doctors widely agree that diabetes can cause neovascular glaucoma. Glaucoma occurs in a disproportionately high number of diabetics compared to non-diabetics as a result of a lack of treatment that eventually causes diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy spurs the leaking of blood vessels within the eye and diminishes the supply of blood within the retina. The retina loses access to oxygen, can't function properly and intraocular pressure increases, leading to neovascular glaucoma.


Diabetes also has the potential to cause cataracts. Since diabetics struggle to control their glucose levels, the aqueous humor portion of the eye lens and the lens itself experience a sugar spike that hinders vision.  

Diabetic patients should consistently monitor their eye health with a comprehensive dilated exam yearly. Call Broome Optical to schedule an appointment, we can help you keep your eyes in the best condition.

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