Diabetes and Your Eyes

Armen Hareyan's picture

The University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center urges people with diabetes to protect their vision by having a dilated eye exam every year.

Here are facts about your eyes and diabetes that underscore the importance of early detection:

Approximately 29 million Americans age 20 and older have diabetes and half are at risk for vision loss because they don't know they have the disease.

Diabetic retinopathy, a degenerative disease of the retina, affects 5.3 million Americans age 18 and older each year.

Your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy increases with the number of years you've had diabetes. After 15 years with the disease, almost 80 percent of people with Type 1 diabetes have some form of diabetic eye disease.

Diabetic retinopathy also can appear within the first year or two after the onset of the disease. For some people, diabetic retinopathy is one of the first signs they have diabetes.


Yearly dilated eye exams are crucial for protecting vision in people with diabetes. Early detection and treatment of diabetic retinopathy usually can prevent permanent vision loss.

Call your Kellogg ophthalmologist if you have diabetes and you notice vision changes that affect only one eye, last more than a few days or are not associated with changes in your blood sugar.

Diabetic eye disease can progress rapidly during pregnancy; thus pregnant women with diabetes should have an eye exam in the first trimester.

Control your risks by controlling your blood sugar. High blood sugar can damage the blood vessels in the retina, which can lead to vision loss or blindness. Rapid changes in blood sugar can cause temporary changes in vision, even if diabetic eye diseases aren't present.

If you have diabetes and would like to make an appointment for your yearly dilated eye exam, please call your Kellogg ophthalmologist at 734.763.5906.


The source of this news article release is http://www.kellogg.umich.edu