Diabetic retinopathy (leaky blood vessels in the retina due to diabetes) is the leading cause of blindness in the US for the ages between 25 and 74. It affects over 5 million Americans. (Statistics from the National Eye Institute.)
Diabetics with well-controlled glucose levels should have a dilated eye examination yearly to monitor for diabetic retinopathy. Those with poorly controlled levels may be seen more frequently.
Poor control of diabetes can lead to visual fluctuations due to the swelling of the lens in the eye.
Complications from diabetes:
- Diabetic retinopathy – blood vessels in the retina leak. Detection early is key. If left undetected, retinopathy can eventually lead to irreversible vision loss.
- Macular edema – fluid leaks into the macula, which is the central part of your vision which can attain the best visual acuity. Fluid in the macula distorts vision, sometimes dramatically.