Diabetic retinopathy is the most common form of eye problem that affects people with diabetes. But other diabetes-related eye problems are common, such as glaucoma and cataracts.

Each of these conditions can cause vision loss and even blindness.

Both glaucoma and cataracts can have a great influence on vision. Diabetic eye disease is a term that encompasses a variety of eye problems.

In its most extreme form, each of these conditions can cause vision loss and even blindness. But treatments can help reduce the risk of this happening.

People with diabetes are twice as likely to get cataracts or glaucoma as the general population.

What eye problems are commonly associated with diabetes?

Retinopathy is the most common form of eye problem in people with diabetes. Large research studies, such as the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial published in 1993. They show that the risk of developing retinopathy increases with higher HbA1c values, higher blood pressure and a longer duration of having had diabetes.

Diabetes eye problems occur when blood glucose levels are not treated, or they can be inherited and exacerbated by diabetes (such as cataracts and glaucoma).

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A simple visit to an ophthalmologist could help prevent thousands of people from going blind each year. That is why people with diabetes should have a dilated eye exam at least once a year.

Does treating diabetic eye disease reverse vision damage?

The largest studies have shown that laser surgery reduces the risk of vision loss due to diabetic eye disease. However, once diabetic eye problems have damaged vision, laser treatment is not effective in reversing the damage.

What is the relationship between blood sugar control and the eye problems of diabetes?

The eye problems of diabetes are directly related to blood sugar control. Constant control of blood glucose considerably reduces the development and progression of eye problems in diabetics.

This was demonstrated among type 2 patients in the UK Prospective Diabetes Study.

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is the most well-known diabetic eye complication and can lead to blindness and vision problems. Diabetic retinopathy progresses through three clear stages: background neuropathy, maculopathy, and proliferative retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy

What other diabetes-related eye conditions are there?
Other diabetes-related eye diseases include cataracts (diabetics are twice as likely as normal people to develop cataracts) and glaucoma (diabetics are also twice as likely to develop glaucoma).

Both conditions are usually treated with surgery when they reach advanced stages.

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