Diabetes is a disease that leads to high levels of glucose in the bloodstream. People with diabetes have a problem processing glucose from food and converting it into energy. Unfortunately, diabetes can lead to many health problems including those related to the eyes. 

For people with Diabetes, it is so important to actively prevent the occurrence of eye disease. That’s because diabetics are at risk for developing diabetes-related eye conditions that can cause poor vision and blindness. These diseases are also commonly known as Diabetic Eye Disease. 

How exactly do diabetes-related eye diseases come about? Well, as time goes on, high blood sugar levels start to damage the retina, which captures images and sends them to the brain through nerve signals. There are two different forms that can occur:

Diabetes-related retinopathy

Diabetes-related retinopathy happens when tiny blood vessels in the eye start to leak and enter the retina. The retina helps send visual information to the brain through the optic nerve, making eyesight possible. 

This disease is a major cause of blindness amongst Americans and affects a large proportion of individuals with Diabetes. It is also commonly known as Diabetic Retinopathy. To prevent diabetic retinopathy from occurring it is vital that diabetics control their blood sugar and blood pressure in the long-run. They will also need to have regular eye exams with their ophthalmologist to prevent additional issues. 

Diabetes-related macular edema

Diabetes-related macular edema occurs when swelling is also present in retinopathy. When tiny blood vessels in the macula become leaky they can cause the retina to swell up. Unfortunately, this can lead to blurry vision. This condition is also known as Diabetic Macular Edema.  Thankfully, these diseases can be prevented or treated effectively by paying attention to one’s health and regularly checking in with your ophthalmologist. 

Other common diseases for people with diabetes include:


Cataracts usually occur due to aging but are also common amongst diabetics. Cataracts cause the lens of the eye to become cloudy and lead to blurry vision and dull colors. If someone does develop cataracts, they can typically undergo surgery to get their vision back to a better level. To prevent cataracts, people can protect their eyes from sources of radiation such as x-rays and UV rays from the sun. It is also important to manage blood sugar levels and keep them within a healthy range. 

What a cataract looks like


Another common eye disease among diabetics is Glaucoma. This disease causes damage to the optic nerve and side vision. The reason behind this is typically a rise in fluid pressure within the person’s eye. The person afflicted may not even notice any symptoms and eventually find themselves with tunnel vision. Glaucoma can also lead to permanent vision loss if it isn’t treated properly. Fortunately, medications and surgery can help delay the progression of glaucoma.


In conclusion, it is important that people with diabetes stay vigilant about their eye health. Diabetes-related eye diseases can happen if blood sugar and blood pressure levels remain unhealthy over long periods of time. 

Many times, eye problems may occur without showing symptoms. For this reason, it is essential for people to regularly visit their eye doctor. Regular eye check-ups and screenings can be vital in catching early signs of eye trouble.