Eye care experts recommend a complete eye exam every 1-3 years, depending on age, risk factors and physical condition. Ask your vision provider what is best for you.
Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults 20-74 years old. Minorities are often less likely to receive dilated eye exams.
What is Diabetic Eye Disease?
Diabetic eye disease (also called diabetic retinopathy) is a serious problem that can lead to loss of sight.
It affects people with diabetes and causes the small blood vessels of the retina to swell and leak liquid into the retina, blurring the vision and sometimes causing blindness.
Download the iDo Coalition's fact sheet PDF for more information on eye disease, including low cost resources for people with diabetes.
What is your Diabetes Eye Disease Eye-Q?
Take the quiz in English or Spanish.
What is your Glaucoma Eye-Q?
Take the quiz in English PDF or print the information in Spanish. PDF
Signs of Diabetic Eye Disease
Regular eye exams are important because diabetic eye disease may be developing even when a person’s sight is good. Signs include:
- Vision changes
- Trouble reading
- Blurred vision
- Seeing rings around lights, dark spots or flashing lights
Tell your health care provider or eye doctor about any eye problems you may have.
Get Regular Eye Exams
Eyes should be dilated and examined once a year, even if no vision problems currently exist. Locate an eye doctor who cares for people with diabetes. Even people who have lost their sight from diabetic eye disease should still have regular eye care.
People with the following conditions should have a complete eye exam:
- Had type 1 diabetes for 5 or more years.
- Currently have type 2 diabetes.
- Going through puberty and have diabetes.
- Pregnant and have diabetes.
- Planning to become pregnant and have diabetes.
People on Medicare can visit its website to find out what services are offered to prevent Glaucoma.
Visit the National Eye Institute website for more vision resources.