Diabetic eye disease, caused by diabetes, is a leading cause of blindness and vision loss. Because of the high risk for eye disease, all people with type 2 diabetes should receive an annual dilated eye exam. For people with type 1 diabetes, an annual dilated exam is recommended after they have had diabetes for 5 years.
Pregnant women with diabetes should see their eye doctor during the first three months of pregnancy and may need follow-up visits.
Basic diabetes facts ► Basic Diabetes Facts ▼
Diabetes is a chronic, complex and destructive disease that can cause a wide range of problems, including heart disease, kidney failure, amputations, and blindness. By taking care of themselves through diet, exercise, and special medications, individuals can control diabetes. Read More
What is diabetic eye disease ► What is diabetic eye disease ▼
Diabetic eye disease may include:
Diabetic retinopathy -- damage to the blood vessels in the retina.
Cataract -- clouding of the eye's lens.
Glaucoma -- increase in fluid pressure inside the eye that leads to optic nerve damage and loss of vision
What is diabetic retinopathy? ► What is diabetic retinopathy? ▼
Diabetic retinopathy affects people with diabetes. The leading cause of blindness in American adults, it is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. Read More
Who is at risk for diabetic retinopathy? ► Who is at risk for diabetic retinopathy? ▼
Diabetic retinopathy is a problem linked to diabetes. Anyone with diabetes is at risk for diabetic retinopathy. Read More
What are the stages of diabetic retinopathy? ► What are the stages of diabetic retinopathy? ▼
The early stage of this disease is called nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy. In this stage blood vessels swell and sometimes bulge or balloon (aneurysm). The vessels may leak fluid that can build up in the retina and cause swelling. Read More
How do eye doctors check for diabetic retinopathy? ► How do eye doctors check for diabetic retinopathy? ▼
Often, there are no symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. Vision may seem unchanged until the disease becomes severe. Eventually, the vision of a person with diabetic retinopathy may become blurred or blocked entirely. But even in more advanced cases the disease may progress without symptoms for a long time. That is why regular eye exams are so important for people with diabetes. Read More
How do eye doctors treat diabetic retinopathy? ► How do eye doctors treat diabetic retinopathy? ▼
Doctors have a range of options for treating individuals who have been diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. Read More
Medicare benefits and your eyes ► Medicare benefits and your eyes ▼
Information about the Welcome to Medicare Physical. Read More
Vision care financial assistance resources ► Vision care financial assistance resources ▼
Contact information for organizations and services that may be able to help with the cost of vision care. Read More
Checklist for Your Eye Doctor Appointment