Diabetic Eye Disease: What is it?

Diabetic eye disease denotes a group of eye problems that are associated with diabetes. These are diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma. They are all complications of diabetes. So, if you have the chronic disease diabetes, you should have your eyes check for any of these conditions. The good news is that these conditions can become treated if detected early. There is no need to suffer from vision loss even if you have diabetes.

What is diabetic eye disease?
Diabetic eye diseases are diseases resulting from complications caused by diabetes. These are diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma. 
Diabetic retinopathy happens when the blood vessels of the retina undergo changes, such as swelling. Sometimes diabetes causes new and abnormal blood vessels to develop in the retina, which causes vision loss. The number one cause of blindness in the United States has become diabetic retinopathy. Here are the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy: 
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Floating spots, blank spots
  • Dark areas, flashing lights
  • Pressure in one or both eyes
  • Difficulty seeing from corners of the eyes 

A diabetic laser easily treats diabetic retinopathy. Laser surgery or LASIK can significantly reduce the risk of blindness caused by diabetic retinopathy. It is important, however, to be diagnosed early because once vision is lost, it cannot be restored. 

Cataracts appear as the clouding of the lens of the eye. It is more common in older people although people with diabetes are also at risk of developing cataracts. Cataracts are easily treatable with cataract laser surgery. Here are the symptoms associated with cataracts:
  • Blurred vision 
  • Colors are not sharp and appear faded
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Glares are too bright
  • Double vision 

Glaucoma refers to the group of eye diseases wherein the optic nerves of the eye are damaged. The damage to the optic nerve is caused by build-up of pressure in the eye. Glaucoma often has no symptoms. What usually happens is an initial loss of peripheral vision, which worsens into the decrease of straight vision. Eventually loss of vision occurs. No cure exists for glaucoma once the vision is lost. However, loss of vision can be prevented if it is diagnosed and treated early. One of the most effective treatments for glaucoma is LASIK or laser eye surgery. 

What you should do if you have the symptoms? 
Whether you have the symptoms of diabetic eye disease or not, you should find a good Houston eye clinic, such as Sugarland Eye & Laser Center, and have your eyes checked. Eye check-ups at least twice a year should be part of managing your diabetes since the diabetic eye diseases is caused by the complications of diabetes. It can be treated if diagnosed early. You can preserve your sight even if you have diabetes. 
What you should do if you have diabetes
  • Take your medications
  • Monitor your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol level 
  • Maintain healthy weight
  • Have your eyes checked at least twice a year


Sugarland Eye & Laser Center leads in providing premium LASIK technologies to Houston, Sugar Land, and the surrounding region. The Center’s award-winning medical director introduced revolutionary technologies such as iLASIK to the region. This technology is used by NASA astronauts, Navy SEALS and Air Force fighter pilots. At Sugarland Eye & Laser Center, you can now receive the same treatment. For more information, please call (281) 240-0478 or visit us at www.houston-lasik.com
About the Author
Amjad Khokhar, M.D. is Chief LASIK Surgeon at Sugarland Eye & Laser Center. Add Dr. Khokhar on Google+ here
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