Diabetes and Eye Disease

Blindness is a possible complication of diabetes. One common cause of blindness in diabetics is diabetic retinopathy. This condition is caused by damage to blood vessels in the eyes. Doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center say a regular eye exam is as important for managing diabetes as monitoring blood sugar and watching your diet.

Not only can doctors diagnose diabetic retinopathy through an eye exam, they also gain other clues about a patient's health. Eyes are like windows to your whole body and looking at the blood vessels in your eyes can give doctors an idea of damage that might have been caused by diabetes in the rest of your body.

Diabetic retinopathy causes no symptoms in its early stages. An eye exam allows doctors to see any lesions caused by diabetes. If they detect these lesions early enough, doctors may be able to get better results with treatment and stop the damage before it becomes irreversible.

If you’re diabetic, you should have regular eye exams. If you wait until you notice problems, it may be too late to save your sight.