3 Diabetes-Related Eye Diseases

Having diabetes significantly increases your risk of developing potentially dangerous eye diseases. For example, around a third of people over the age of 40 with diabetes have diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of vision loss and blindness. However, diabetic retinopathy isn’t the only diabetes-related eye disease that can permanently damage your vision.

Here at Retina Specialists, our team of expert ophthalmologists provides diabetic eye exams at our offices in Dallas, DeSoto, Plano, Mesquite, and Waxahachie, Texas. We screen for and treat diabetic eye diseases, including diabetic retinopathy, macular edema, and glaucoma.

1. Diabetic retinopathy

Continuously elevated blood sugar levels damage your blood vessels, including the tiny blood vessels that feed your retina. Diabetic retinopathy develops when abnormal blood vessels leak blood and other fluids onto your retina. The condition is progressive, as additional blood vessels grow to make up for the leaky vessels, only to begin to leak as well and cause more damage.

2. Macular edema

Abnormal and leaking blood vessels can also cause swelling in your macula. Your macula is the part of your retina that controls your central vision. Over time, your central vision, which you need to read, drive, and recognize people’s faces, becomes blurry and distorted. 

3. Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that elevates the pressure in your eyeball and damages your optic nerve. When diabetes damages the blood vessels in your eyes, the additional fluids and swelling overwhelm your drainage angles and cause pressure to build up inside your eye. 

Signs of diabetic eye disease

In most cases, diabetic eye diseases don’t cause symptoms in their early stages, which is why it’s critical to have diabetic eye exams at least once a year. With frequent screening, we can diagnose eye diseases and provide customized treatment before your vision is damaged. 

In some cases, you might notice eye disease symptoms, including:

If you notice any of these symptoms, call us immediately for an eye exam, diagnosis, and treatment.

Managing diabetic eye disease

Your first step should be to control your diabetes with diet, exercise, and medication. By lowering and managing your blood sugar levels, you can reduce your risk of developing diabetic eye diseases and protect your vision. 

However, if you have a diabetic eye disease, we offer customized treatment to address your specific condition and needs. Some of the standard procedures for diabetic eye disease include anti-VEGF medication, laser treatments, and vitrectomy.

Anti-VEGF medication

Anti-VEGF injections stop the development of abnormal blood vessels and leakage in your eyes, reducing retinopathy and macular edema. We provide the injections during your checkups.

Laser treatments

We also offer laser treatments to get rid of the abnormal blood vessels on your retina. Laser treatment can stop your condition from getting worse, but it won’t restore vision loss. 


When untreated, the scarring caused by retinopathy can cause your retina to pull away from the back of your eye. We perform vitrectomy to replace the vitreous fluid in your eye and keep your retina in place. 

If you have diabetes, give us a call to schedule a diabetic eye exam today. We can diagnose and treat all types of diabetic eye diseases to protect your vision and eye health.

You Might Also Enjoy...

What Eye Conditions Does PRP Laser Therapy Treat?

If abnormal blood vessels have formed in your eyes, you run the risk of vision problems and blindness. You can protect your sight with panretinal photocoagulation (PRP) laser therapy. Learn more about this innovative treatment.

When to Seek Medical Care for Eye Trauma

Eye injuries can happen at any time, like while you’re cleaning the kitchen, playing a sport, or walking the dog. Knowing basic eye first aid and when to seek medical care can preserve your vision if you experience eye trauma.

How to Keep a Retinal Tear from Evolving into a Detachment

Retinal tears are not only dangerous, but also have the potential to turn into retinal detachments, which can lead to vision loss. If you know the warning signs of a retinal tear, you can take action to prevent detachment and protect your vision.

Why Routine Eye Exams Are Important

If you don’t wear glasses or contact lenses, you might think you can skip routine eye exams. However, checkups are critical to protecting your eye health and vision. Learn why you should schedule your next eye exam today.

Macular Disease: What Are the Risks?

Millions of Americans have some form of macular disease, which is a leading cause of blindness. When you know your risk factors, you can make changes now to protect your vision. Learn more and schedule an eye exam today.

Are You a Candidate for a Clinical Trial?

Clinical trials are a critical part of evaluating new medicines and treatments for eye diseases like diabetic retinopathy and retinal vein occlusion. If you want to try cutting-edge treatments, discover if you’re a candidate for a clinical trial.