Eye problems (Retinopathy)

Diabetes can cause problems with your eyes. When your blood sugar is not under control, it can lead to many problems with your eyesight, including blindness without any warning. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults in the United States.

Keeping your eyes healthy should be a priority when you have diabetes. Below are some suggestions for ways to avoid eye problems:

  • Keep your blood sugar under control, which will lessen your chance of getting eye disease.
  • If you have high blood pressure, it’s important to bring it under control because high blood pressure can make eye problems worse.
  • If you smoke, quit smoking.
  • See an eye doctor at least once a year for a dilated eye exam.

When to see an eye doctor

If you have any of the symptoms below, make an appointment to see an eye doctor:

  • Things become blurry
  • Trouble reading signs or books
  • Seeing double
  • One or both of your eyes hurt
  • Eyes get red and the redness does not go away
  • Pressure in your eye
  • Seeing spots or things floating
  • Trouble being able to see that a line is straight
  • Trouble seeing things at the side

Talk to your doctor about steps you can take to keep your blood sugar under control and to keep your eyes healthy.