What is Diabetic Eye Disease?

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 may include:

Diabetic retinopathy–damage to the blood vessels in the retina.
Cataract–clouding of the eye’s lens.
Glaucoma–increase in fluid pressure inside the eye that leads to optic nerve damage and loss of vision.

Cataract and glaucoma also affect many people who do not have diabetes.

What is the most common diabetic eye disease?

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.

Who is most likely to get diabetic retinopathy?

Anyone with diabetes. The longer someone has diabetes, the more likely he or she will get diabetic retinopathy. Nearly half of all people with diabetes will develop some degree of diabetic retinopathy during their lifetime.

What are its symptoms?

Often there are none in the early stages of the disease. Vision may not change until the disease becomes severe. Nor is there any pain.