Endocrinology-Diabetes Questions Diabetes

Diabetes and eye health

I am a type 2 diabetic and my doctor keeps asking me about seeing an eye doctor. What is the connection between the two?

24 Answers

Diabetes can affect the blood vessels in the eyes and cause bleeding or swelling if not well controlled. Also, it can cause fluctuations in vision. You should see an optometrist.
Diabetes causes changes to the small vessels in the retina which can lead to vision loss. Type 2 diabetics could have had the disease for several years and should have a dilated eye exam to determine if it is causing any damage and be treated if needed
Diabetics with poor control can have retinal ischemia which can cause retinal edema, bleeding and retinal detachments. If diagnosed early, retinal laser or intraocular injections can be done to reduce risk of vision loss.
From the time of diagnosis, diabetes affects all our blood vessels, including those of our brain, heart, eyes, kidneys and circulation in all her legs. It is very important to see an eye doctor on a regular basis not to be surprised with undesired consequences. Of course, keeping her diabetes under control is very important.
I answered this question previously. Eye damage from diabetes is common and is the leading cause of adult blindness. Yes follow your Drs advice & get a dilated eye exam every year. Do not resist this extremely important exam since diabetic eye damage is reversible is picked up early & is treata ble today with modern medicine & equipment so blindness can be prevented
Diabetes, whether type 1 or 2, can cause changes behind the eye called diabetic retinopathy. This can include swelling, bleeding and other changes that can cause permanent vision loss. Only thru dilated eye exams can these changes be detected and vision loss prevented.
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of blindness. Although most Type2 diabetics will not go blind, there is no test for uncovering the potential for blindness except a dilated exam by a trained ophthalmologist or optometrist 9 not in all states). Your doctor is correct: SEE an Ophlalmologist ASAP.
Yes, it's important that you should have an eye exam. Diabetes can cause eye problems. Since diabetes can effect small blood vessels in the body it can cause nephropathy in the kidney, retinopathy in the eye retina, neuropathy in the legs or else where, hear disease and strok. The vision problem will be blurry vision, retinal hemorrhage, cataract. Since the eye is the only organ we can see through it, we can see the change in blood vessel through an eye exam. Good control of blood sugar, blood pressure, diet and routine exam can prevent a person from getting problems.
Good luck and wish you healthy body.
One of the primary longterm side effects of high blood sugars is damage to the small capillary blood vessels throughout the body: kidneys, nerves, heart, brain, eyes (retina), etc. When the retinal capillaries/blood vessels are affected this leads to diabetic retinopathy which can cause visual loss in one or both eyes.

Type 2 Diabetics should have at least annual eye exams by someone familiar with diabetic retinopathy from the time of their diagnosis with diabetes. Earlier diagnosis leads to earlier treatment intervention which leads to better preservation of vision.
Diabetes weakens the blood vessels in the body over time, especially in the eyes since they are very small. The more out of control the blood sugar, the more it can damage them. Overtime, the tiny blood vessels leak like a garden soaker hose so serum or whole blood can hemorrhage into the retina, causing scar tissue or new, abnormal, blood vessels to grow. This is called Diabetic Retinopathy and it is the leading cause of blindness in the U.S. Most people, if they take care of their blood sugar and have regular blood tests with their physician and have eye exams yearly can prevent going blind from diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes, over a period of time, can lead to damage to the blood vessels in the back of the eye. This condition is known as diabetic retinopathy. People with diabetes should have an eye exam at least once a year to check for this condition and receive treatment if needed.
Diabetes causes degradation to the small blood vessels of the body, specifically the retina and kidneys. An annual dilated eye exam is necessary to detect early diabetic retinopathy. If diagnosed early, this condition can be treated and it will also give you an idea how your body is being influenced by the elevated blood sugar levels.
Diabetes both type 1 and 2 can cause retinopathy And macular problems if it is not under control and depending on the duration of diabetes . It's a silent disease so mostly patients don't even realize what is going on on their retina until they get a dilated fundus exam . Uncontrolled diabetes and fluctuating blood sugar can also affect the vision significantly .
Simply put, Diabetes is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world. Indeed, most medical insurance companies require annual dilated retinal evaluations by an ophthalmologist to maintain your medical insurance. The blindness comes from bleeding inside the eye from tiny fragile blood vessels in the retina.
Diabetes can affect vision and possibly, the retinal tissue. We can see diabetic retinopathy, in which blood can leak out of the small weakened vessels in the retina into the retinal tissue. Vision may be affected when blood sugar levels are high, where a person can become more nearsighted with those shifts and have more difficulty seeing at a distance. We recommend yearly eye examinations with a dilation of the pupils to determine the state of the retinal health for our diabetic patients.
One of the possible complications from diabetes is a condition know as diabetic retinopathy, which if untreated can lead to severe vision loss or even blindness. The standard of care today is for anyone with diabetes to have an annual eye exam that includes a careful examination of the retina at the back of the eye for any signs of retinopathy.

Dr. Cathy Stern, OD, FCSO, FCOVD, FNORA
Diabetes can affect the blood vessels on the back of the eyes (retina). These changes take place gradually. It doesn't affect vision until it is advanced. Early detection helps to prevent vision loss.
Diabetes is the number 1 cause of blindness in the USA. Fortunately, most cases are preventable. In addition to controlling your diabetes and blood pressure, regular examinations by an eye doctor can detect and treat early diabetic changes in the eye that, if left untreated, can cause permanent loss of vision. After 5 years of type 2 diabetes, it is recommended that you see an eye doctor annually.

Martin M. Grajower, MD, FACP, FACE
Associate Professor of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Vice President, Lower NY Chapter, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
Co-Editor, Diabetes/Metabolism: Research and Reviews
3736 Henry Hudson Pkwy. Riverdale, NY 10463
Type 2 Diabetes is a systemic disorder. Usually, diagnosed through a blood test called HBA1C. To answer your question, uncontrolled diabetes can lead to peripheral neuropathy (loss of sensation), and in terms of the eyes, uncontrolled diabetics tend to be at higher risk for retinopathy (essentially, going blind). Your doctor is giving you correct advice.
"Best Medical Practices" recommendations are for ALL Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetics to have Comprehensive Dilated Eye Exam yearly. Diabetes affects the small blood vessels of your body and eye. Depending on both, degree of diabetic glucose control and how long a patient has had diabetes, which are risk factors for theses small vessels to "leak fluid" or bleed into your inner eye layer known as your RETINA... caught early, there are tremendously successful treatments available. Untreated disease does uniformly poorly, leading to visual loss. Definitely, SEE your eye physician.
Patients with diabetes are more susceptible to cataracts, glaucoma, macular edema and hemorrhages in their retina. We monitor your eye health every 6-12 months depending on the severity of your diabetes and the overall health of your eyes.
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States, in particular in the over 50 age group. Anyone with a diagnosis of diabetes gets an annual eye exam at the least. If there is no diabetic retinopathy, a once a year exam suffices. Some forms of diabetic retinopathy require exams every few months. Severe disease may require monthly exams. These frequent visits often require treatments, but that is beyond the scope of this question.

Understand that diabetes is a disease of small blood vessels. It affects these vessels in every part of your body from your toes to your kidneys and even brain. The reason the eye exam is so helpful to your primary doctor is that we can provide insight into the level of diabetes without taking a biopsy or doing a blood test. So it's a non-invasive way to grade the extent of diabetic damage throughout your body.

Hopefully this explains why your doctor is pushing you towards getting an eye exam!
Diabetes targets the vascular tissue in your body (blood veins), the later damage in patients with diabetes that are uncontrolled is in the retina (vessels) which if not detected properly, can be sight threatening.
Type 2 Diabetes leads to serious eye complications, if left untreated. Retinal hemorrhages leading to blindness in the late stages. These can be prevented by yearly examinations by an eye specialist.