Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic Eye Disease

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about 90% of vision loss from diabetes can be prevented. Diabetic eye disease can affect many parts of the eye, including the retina, macula, lens and optic nerve. Diabetic eye disease refers is a term for several eye problems that can all result from diabetes (diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, cataract and glaucoma). All forms of diabetic eye disease have the potential to cause vision loss and blindness, which is why getting an annual diabetic eye exam is so important. Understanding diabetic eye disease is the first step to managing and preventing the condition.  

Diabetic Eye Disease

What is Diabetic Eye Disease?

Diabetes is spiraling out of control. In fact, according to the International Diabetes Foundation, 1 in 10 people are living with it. Yet, less than half with it recognize their risk factor for vision loss. Diabetic eye disease is a group of eye conditions that affect people with diabetes. These conditions include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema (DME), cataract, and glaucoma.


Diabetes doubles the chances of having glaucoma, which can lead to irreversible vision loss without treatment. Glaucoma is a disease that damages the eye’s optic nerve. This usually happens when fluid builds up in the front part of the eye (which increases eye pressure). Since eye complications are common with diabetes, it is very important  for those with it to get an eye exam every year. During an exam, your eye doctor will perform a tonometry test to measure your IOP and detect any changes in your eye pressure. 

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes. It occurs when blood vessels in the retina leak, swell, or close off completely distorting vision. When damaged blood vessels leak fluid into the center of the retina, it results in a condition known as diabetic macular edema, which causes swelling in the central vision. 

Diabetic Macular Edema (DME)

Diabetic macular edema is a complication of diabetes. It is caused by fluid accumulation in the macula that can affect the fovea. The fluid makes the macula swell, blurring vision. Those who develop DME, already have diabetic retinopathy. Although it is more likely to occur as diabetic retinopathy progresses, it can occur at any stage of the disease. 


Cataracts (a clouding of the lens) are a natural part of the aging process. While most cataracts are caused by aging, people with diabetes tend to get them at an earlier age. In fact, according to the National Eye Institute, those with diabetes are 2 to 5 times more likely to develop cataracts at a younger age. For this reason, getting an annual diabetic eye exam is important to your vision and overall health.

Diabetic Eye Disease Detection At Murata Eyecare

Our comprehensive eye exams include a detailed assessment of your vision and overall health. This includes checking your eye pressure, visual acuity, peripheral vision, and depth perception. We also evaluate you for many eye diseases such as, glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration and diabetic eye diseases. For more information on our diabetic eye exams or to book an appointment, contact our office at (805) 522-7007.