How Diabetes Impacts Your Eye Health

As we enter Defeat Diabetes Month, it is crucial to highlight the significant link between diabetes and eye health. As an eye care provider, Thomas Eye Group has witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of diabetes on vision. Diabetes does not just affect blood sugar levels; it can wreak havoc on the delicate structures of the eye, leading to diabetic eye disease such as macular edema, cataracts, and glaucoma. 

Defeat Diabetes Month: How Diabetes Impacts Eye Health

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by elevated blood sugar levels. Over time, high blood sugar can damage blood vessels throughout the body, including those in the eyes. When left uncontrolled, diabetes can lead to various complications that threaten vision and overall eye health. 

Macular Edema

One of the most common diabetic eye complications is macular edema. The macula is the central part of the retina responsible for sharp, detailed vision. When fluid accumulates in the macula due to leaky blood vessels, it can cause swelling and distortion of vision. This condition, known as macular edema, can significantly impair central vision and make activities like reading and driving challenging. 

Macular Edema can be diagnosed during routine dilated eye exams. Your doctor may detect central swelling and will conduct a fluorescein angiography procedure, injecting sodium fluorescein dye into an arm or hand before taking photographs of your retina. The dye helps reveal any abnormalities on the retina.


Diabetes also increases the risk of developing cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s natural lens that causes blurriness and glare. People with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts at a younger age and may experience more rapid progression. While cataracts can be surgically removed, managing diabetes is essential to reduce the risk of complications during and after surgery.  


Another significant risk factor of diabetes is glaucoma. This is an eye disease in which damage to the optic nerve leads to progressive, irreversible vision loss and is the second leading cause of blindness. Intraocular pressure (pressure within the eye) plays a crucial role in its development and progression. Diabetes can affect the eye’s drainage system, leading to increased intraocular pressure and optic nerve damage. Without early detection and treatment, glaucoma can cause irreversible vision loss and even blindness. 

Treating diabetic eye disease can be stressful, let us help you!

At Thomas Eye Group, we provide various treatment options for macular edema including steroid injections, eye drops, and surgery. We also offer several types of glaucoma and cataract surgeries and treatment plans/packages.  

During Defeat Diabetes Month, let us raise awareness about the critical link between diabetes and eye health. By promoting diabetes education, encouraging regular eye exams, and advocating for comprehensive diabetes management, we can empower individuals to take control of their health and protect their vision for years to come. 

Click here to schedule a diabetic eye exam with us today! 

Thomas Eye Group