Eye Diseases Caused by Your Diabetes

Diabetes can cause a number of issues with your eyes, even if the diabetes is well controlled. This disease affects the blood vessels and other soft tissues in the eye. Some of these conditions can be serious enough to cause partial or complete blindness. Regular diabetic eye exams are needed to detect and treat any diabetic-related eye diseases. Here is what you need to know about the common eye issues experienced by people with diabetes.

Diabetic Retinopathy

This disease is due to tiny, weak blood vessels on the retina leaking fluid onto the interior surface of the eye. As this fluid accumulates on the retina, the light is blocked and you begin to see gray shadows in your vision. If allowed to continue, you can lose part or all of your vision.

Treatment of this involves destroying the weak blood vessels and drying up the fluid. A chemical injection or laser surgery can be done to stop the fluid leaks. Vision already lost by the fluid leaks cannot be restored, but treatment can prevent further loss of your eyesight.


This is a buildup of protein fibers in the lenses of your eye that progresses until your vision becomes cloudy. You may have blurry vision and see rings of light, called halos, around lights at night. This is a response by your eyes to protect the inside of the eye from environmental conditions, such as exposure to ultraviolet light. But the affect of diabetes on the eyes causes cataracts to appear sooner than your eye doctor would normally expect.

Cataract surgery is a common procedure done in the doctor's office. The cloudy lenses are removed and replaced with artificial lenses that won't develop cataracts. The artificial lenses also make adjustments for vision issues such as poor near or far vision. You could end up wearing no glasses or a different prescription after cataract surgery.


Diabetes also causes the pressure in your eyeballs to increase. If allowed to become severe, the pressure put on the retinas will damage your vision. Glaucoma can develop and get worse without any symptoms. Frequent glaucoma screenings are needed to catch this disease in its early stages.

Glaucoma treatment consists of eye drops that help reduce the pressure in the eye. Surgery may also be done to open up the ducts in the eye to allow the pressure to escape faster. 

Contact a doctor from an establishment like Tri State Ophthalmology to get your eyes examined as soon as possible if you have diabetes.