Diabetes and Your Eyes

Jul 17, 2022 | Eye Exam, general

If you or someone you love have diabetes, you need regular eye exams.

Diabetes affects how your body uses blood glucose or blood sugar. Glucose is vital because it provides energy for your body and your brain. Normally, when you eat and your blood sugar rises, your pancreas releases insulin to move the glucose from your blood to your cells. With diabetes, the pancreas either doesn’t make enough insulin or the body can’t use the insulin correctly, so the glucose stays in the blood. Over time, the high levels of glucose in the blood can damage the blood vessels in the body, including the eyes.

Diabetic eye disease can damage the eyes and result in poor vision or blindness, and often there are no symptoms in the early stages. Anyone with diabetes can develop diabetic eye disease, but the risk increases if blood sugar levels or blood pressure levels aren’t controlled.

Diabetic Retinopathy

The most common reason for vision loss in diabetics is diabetic retinopathy.

It affects the blood vessels in the retina, which is the light-sensitive layer in the back of the eye. In the early stages of the disease, there may not be any symptoms. In the later stages, as the blood vessels start to bleed into the vitreous (a gel-like fluid that fills the eye), dark, floating spots or streaks may occur in your vision.

The risk of developing diabetic retinopathy increases the longer you have diabetes.


While cataracts are common when people get older, they can happen to diabetics at an earlier age than people without diabetes.

Cataracts cause the front part of the eye to become cloudy. They can make vision blurry or hazy, cause colors to seem faded, reduce night vision, increase sensitivity to light, and, over time, can lead to vision loss.

Diabetic macular edema

Diabetic macular edema is a build-up of fluid and swelling in the macula, which is the part of the retina used to see clearly while driving, reading, and seeing faces.

This disease can damage the vision in this part of the eye, leading to either partial vision loss or blindness.


Diabetics have an increased risk of developing glaucoma. Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve and is called “the silent thief of sight” because it can begin with little to no pain or symptoms. Regular eye exams are the only way to catch it in the early stages.

Diabetic Eye Exam

It is vital for diabetics to get regular eye exams to avoid vision loss or other eye problems, many of which have no obvious symptoms in the early stages. The doctors at The Eye Center have the expertise and the latest in technology to provide high-quality eye health and vision care for people with diabetes.

Book an appointment at The Eye Center in Pembroke Pines for a diabetic eye exam today.