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What You Need to Know if You Have Diabetes

Diabetes blog cover 2

Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness in the nation, and can lead to serious eye conditions and even permanent vision loss. Diabetic eye disease consists of group of eye conditions including diabetic retinopathy (DR), diabetic macular edema (DME), cataract and glaucoma.

The facts

  • Adults diagnosed with diabetes are 2-5 times more likely to develop cataracts.
  • Your risk of glaucoma is nearly doubled with diabetes.
  • Tractional retinal detachment is a serious complication that can occur in those with diabetes and can cause permanent blindness.
  • Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and is estimated to affect 28.5% of diabetic people in the U.S. The disease damages the retina, neural tissue in the back of the eye responsible for processing images, as a result of inadequate blood supply of oxygen to the blood vessels.
  • Diabetic macular edema is a consequence of DR and results in the swelling of the macula, a very sensitive area of the retina which is responsible for fine vision.
  • Patients with diabetic eye complications are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Thus their physicians should follow persons with type 2 diabetes and more severe stages of DR more closely.

Signs of diabetic retinopathy can include

  • Blurred vision
  • Spots or strings floating in your vision
  • Poor night vision
  • Black areas in your vision
  • Vision loss

Vision loss from diabetes can be preventable. Please visit your eye care professional today

Schedule an Appointment at USC Roski Eye Institute Today

The exceptional eye doctors at USC Roski Eye Institute are experts at diagnosing and treating a wide variety of eye conditions, including diabetic retinopathy. To receive a comprehensive eye exam and ensure that your vision is protected from diabetes-related conditions, please complete our online contact form or call 323-442-6335 today!

To learn more about the health services at the USC Roski Eye Institute or to support the Institute with a tax-deductible gift, please contact Rebecca Melville, senior director of development, via email at or by calling USC Roski Eye Institute.


  • Chang, AC, Fox TP, Wang S, Wu AY. Relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and the presence and severity of diabetic retinopathy. Retina, 2017, P1-10.
  • Xie J, et al. JAMA Ophthalmol. Association of Diabetic Macular Edema and Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy with
  • Cardiovascular Disease: A systematic Review and Meta-analysis. 2017 Jun 1;135(6):586-593.

By Debbie Mitra

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