Diabetes and your Eyes

Diabetes is a chronic condition that cannot be cured. Anyone with diabetes is at risk of developing diabetic eye disease. Diabetes may cause an affect on vision by resulting in damage to blood vessels in the back of the eye. 

Diabetes can cause blurring of vision depending on blood glucose levels, it can cause cataracts, increased risk of Glaucoma and Diabetic Retinopathy. 

What is Diabetic Retinopathy (DR)?

Diabetic Retinopathy involves damage to the retina over time due to high blood glucose levels. Early stages involve leakage of fluid from retinal blood vessels this is called non-proliferative retinopathy, which does not normally affect vision, however, over time the leakage can cause swelling (edema), when the swelling is in the central macular area (diabetic macular edema DME) it can cause loss of central vision.  DR  can also cause blockage of the small retinal vessels and can cause more blinding affects on vision, this is called proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). 

Getting your eyes checked 

As early stages usually do not show any symptoms it is important to regularly get your eyes checked by an optometrist or ophthalmologist if you are a diabetic. 

It is very important to have your eyes checked at least every two years for a dilated eye examination. Early detection is vital, early stages may not present with any symptoms and therefore without early examination, and therefore possible treatment, rapid progression can occur. The earlier the managements and treatment, the higher the chance of saving sight. 

For more information on Diabetes and services that may help you visit

Diabetes Australia and the National Diabetes Service Scheme (NDSS) 



Diabetic Eye Disease