The Importance of Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month

Older couple celebrating after Diabetic Retinopathy

Every month of the year is dedicated to some form of eye health awareness to remind people how important it is to take care of your vision. In November, that focus is dedicated to Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness.

This is, unfortunately, a growing problem for the world’s population. Diabetes is a disease that affects your body’s ability to regulate glucose or sugar.

This may sound benign, but it can have disastrous effects on all kinds of things that your body does. Getting your diabetes under control can be a difficult challenge, but it’s possible!

Using a combination of a healthy diet, regular exercise, and medication, you’ll see results. Here are a few ways that diabetes can affect your vision.


Glaucoma is a frightening eye condition that diabetes can jumpstart. What happens is the pressure inside your eye begins to build.

This pressure begins to damage the optic nerve, which connects your eyes to your brain. This damage is irreversible, has almost no symptoms, and happens gradually over time.

The problem is that most people don’t realize they have glaucoma until they’ve already suffered from vision loss. The worst part? There’s no cure for glaucoma.

There is good news, though. If caught early, you can treat glaucoma. Medication cannot reverse the effects of glaucoma, but it can stop it from progressing and stealing more of your sight. You may also need surgery in certain cases.

Anyone can develop glaucoma, but it has been shown that those with diabetes have a higher risk of developing it. The only way to stay safe from glaucoma is through regular eye appointments.

Be sure to schedule yearly checkups at Arizona Eye Physicians and Surgeons in Glendale, AZ.


Almost everybody will develop cataracts at some point in their life. If you have diabetes, you may develop cataracts at a younger age.

Cataracts develop when the proteins in the lens of your eye begin to clump together. Normally, these proteins are arranged so that light can pass through them uninterrupted, but when they aren’t, they begin to block out light.

As the clumps grow bigger, less light can pass through. Eventually the clumps grow so big and dark that all light is blocked out, and you suffer from vision loss.

The only way to treat cataracts is by having cataract surgery. With this simple procedure, you can have clear vision once more.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Although diabetes can cause you to develop some eye conditions, diabetic retinopathy is one that diabetes is directly responsible for. As sugar in the blood reaches the vessels in your eyes, they can become blocked off.

Prolonged blockage over time leads to the blood supply being cut off, killing the blood vessel. Your eye still needs this blood, so it will attempt to form new vessels.

But these new vessels are weak and prone to leaking. You will notice symptoms before they begin to grow. This is during the nonproliferative stage of diabetic retinopathy.

But the real problems occur once you reach the advanced stage. Scar tissue from new vessels growing and becoming damaged can cause serious problems. This can even lead to retinal detachment.

If you suspect you are having problems with your vision, visit Arizona Eye Physicians and Surgeons in Scottsdale, AZ for an appointment. Don’t be afraid to get help controlling your diabetes, it could help save your vision!

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