Diabetes eye health

How does diabetes affect eye health?

In general term, more than half of all diabetic patients who have suffered from the disease for 15 years or more have some degree of retinal vascular disorder.

Almost all patients who have suffered from the disease for more than 30 years show signs of Diabetic retinopathy, one of the main causes of severe working-age vision loss in developed countries.

Diabetic eye check up

Retina check up for diabetic patient

Diabetic patients are up to 25 times more likely to suffer complete loss of sight than people without the disease.

Good control of diabetesand regular eye examinations can delay the onset of retinopathy and prevent its most serious forms.

On what does the degree of eyesight damage from diabetes depend?

Visual impairment that results from diabetes does not necessarily have to become severe, and it depends on three factors:

  • The degree of severity of the diabetes.
  • The time to have elapsed since the start of the disease.
  • Its level of control by the patient.

Ocular damage diabetes

Diabetes causes retinal vascular disorders 

How can it be prevented?

  • Strict blood glucose monitoring.
  • Strict blood pressure monitoring.
  • Strict cholesterol monitoring.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Strict ophthalmic monitoring.

When and how often should you visit the ophthalmologist?

  • Type 1 diabetes: 3-5 after diabetes is diagnosed.
  • Type 2 diabetes: as soon as diabetes is diagnosed.
  • All diabetic patients: annual check-up with an ophthalmologist and check-ups according to the degree of vision loss of each patient.
  • Pregnant women, people with poor metabolic control and/or vision loss: check-ups are especially advisable.

After the first ophthalmological examination, all patients should undergo an annual ophthalmological check-up if no lesion is observed. The ophthalmologist will schedule examinations according to the degree of vision loss of each patient.

In all cases, it is better for the retinopathy to be diagnosed before symptoms appear, because the lesion is generally already severe at this point. 

Diabetes-related eye disorders