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diabetic eye diseaseMost people know that diabetes increases your risk for heart disease and stroke but diabetes can also affect your vision.

Over time diabetes can cause damage to your eyes that can lead to poor vision or even blindness. That is why it is important that people with diabetes have a professional eye examination as soon as they are diagnosed with diabetes and at least once a year thereafter. By detecting and treating diabetic eye disease early through annual eye exams and appropriate follow-up care, people with diabetes can preserve their sight.

“Diabetic eye disease is similar to glaucoma in that, if you get regular examinations and changes are noted very early, it’s treatable. However, if you’ve already had significant visual loss prior to your eye exam, it is more difficult to treat,” says Dr. Samuel Friedel, Chief of Ophthalmology & DIO at UMMC Midtown Campus.

Diabetic eye disease refers to a group of vision-impairing eye problems, such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts that may affect people with diabetes.

In order to properly diagnose diabetic eye disease, our board-certified ophthalmologists will perform a comprehensive eye exam.  This exam includes a review of the patient's medical history, measurement of visual sharpness, evaluation regarding the need for a new eye glass prescription, pupil dilation to determine eye structure changes and measurement of the pressure within the eye.

The standard therapy for diabetic eye disease is laser treatment, which is often combined with injections of similar drugs used to treat wet macular degeneration.