Diabetes is a condition in which the pancreas does not produce enough, or any, insulin, resulting in an excess of sugar in the blood. There are different variations of this disease, but all can affect the eye. Diabetes can damage specific parts of the eye: retina, vitreous, lens, optic nerve.

Damage to the retina from diabetes is very serious and can result in vision loss. Having high blood pressure and blood glucose can cause the blood vessels within the eye to swell and weaken. As these blood vessels weaken, so will your vision. This is a very slow process, so no vision loss may be noticed at first. The only way to truly know that this is occurring is to have a yearly checkup with an optometrist or ophthalmologist where a dilated eye test is conducted. This condition is known as Diabetic Retinopathy. This is the most common eye problem as a result of diabetes and is the leading cause of permanent blindness among working adults.

Diabetic retinopathy can cause diabetic madular edema, vitreous hemorrhage, and retinal detachment. Symptoms include blurred vision - which can cause difficulty while reading or driving - floaters, flashing lights, or a decrease in the field of vision. Symptoms occur late in the disease, so diabetes patients should get their eyes examined at least once a year.

Diabetes can also cause cataracts and glaucoma. Cataracts caused by diabetes is more severe than cataracts that occur naturally. Glaucoma that is caused by diabetes usually develops at a faster rate than glaucoma that occurs naturally.

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