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How Diabetes can affect your eye health

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Diabetic Eye Exams

Diabetic eye complications are the leading cause of blindness in Americans ages 20-64, and the prevalence of diabetes in the US is rising. Current guidelines recommend a dilated eye exam for all patients with diabetes every year. There are two reasons for these annual exams:

​Most importantly, early detection of diabetic eye problems allows for earlier treatment which is crucial in preventing permanent vision loss.

Secondly, diabetes primarily causes health problems by affecting your blood vessels. Because the eye is the only part of your body where blood vessels can be seen directly, a dilated eye exam can give your primary care doctor an idea of how the rest of your body is doing.  

Because diabetics have a high risk of eye problems, you should visit your eye doctor right away if you:

  • See little black lines or spots that don’t go away

  • Have a sudden change in how clearly you see

  • Take longer than usual to adjust to darkness

  • See any red spots

  • See red fog

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