Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetes has many potential complications. Along with controlling blood sugar and maintaining an active lifestyle, diabetics should stay alert for symptoms affecting their eyes and vision, particularly Diabetic Retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy results from damaged blood vessels in the tissue at the back of the eye (retina). High blood sugar levels cause these blood vessels to swell, leak, or close off, leading to central vision impairment, retina detachment and eventually, irreversible vision loss. In fact, Diabetic Retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among adults ages 20 to 74.

The disease is progressive and affects almost all patients with Type 1 diabetes and over 60% of patients with Type 2 diabetes. Your risk and the severity of symptoms increases the longer your blood sugar goes uncontrolled. Although the disease is widespread, there are fewer than 200,000 severe cases reported in the US each year. Annual eye exams are especially critical for diabetic patients since symptoms of DR do not always present until later stages of the disease. If you experience floaters, blurriness, dark areas of vision, or difficulty perceiving colors, call Northwest Eye Surgeons immediately.

Diabetic Retinopathy can’t be cured, but it can be treated if detected early. Managing your risk for DR begins with careful diabetes management through healthy diet and an active lifestyle. In advanced cases, your Northwest Eye surgeon will discuss specific options for your eyes including injections, laser treatments, and surgery. The goal of treatment is to maintain the current level of vision and prevent continued deterioration. In some cases of early diagnosis, treatment may improve vision.

If you are living with diabetes or have specifically been diagnosed with DR, make an appointment with our office today. We are Columbus, Ohio’s premiere source for Diabetic Retinopathy treatments.


Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of new cases blindness in adults from 20-74 years of age.


Treatment can help, but this condition can’t be cured.


Early in the disease, patients may be symptom free which underscores the importance of annual exams.


Diabetic retinopathy is caused by damage to the blood vessels in the tissue at the back of the eye (retina). Poorly controlled blood sugar is a risk factor.


Early symptoms include floaters, blurriness, dark areas of vision, and difficulty perceiving colors. Blindness can occur.


Mild cases may be treated with careful diabetes management. Advanced cases may require laser treatment or surgery.

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