How Diabetes Can Impact Your Eyes

Moein Habibi, Nov 05, 22

Diagnosing Diabetes 

Did you know that as many as 1 million Canadians are living with undiagnosed diabetes? 

Although many people assume that a visit to a Doctor is the only way to diagnose diabetes, a comprehensive eye exam can also be an effective way to detect this disease. Furthermore, Seeing an eye exam can help to detect diabetes in its early stages since some indicators show up in your eyes before you feel any symptoms. Seeing our Edmonton Optometrist can reduce your risk of vision loss, and minimize your risk of other life threatening complications from diabetes such as heart disease and kidney failure.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Anyone with type 1 or type 2 diabetes can develop diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when there is a weakening or swelling of the tiny blood vessels in the retina of your eye. This results in blood leakage, the growth of new blood vessels, and other eye changes. 

According to the Canadian Diabetes Association (AKA Diabetes Canada), diabetic retinopathy affects 23% of type 1 diabetics and 14% of people with type 2 diabetes.

The Impact of Diabetic Retinopathy 

One of the reasons why diabetic retinopathy is sometimes undiagnosed, is that at first, it may be symptomless. Without initial symptoms, you may not see the need to get your eyes checked. However, since diabetic retinopathy can eventually cause changes in nearsightedness, farsightedness, and lead to permanent blindness, we strongly suggest that you come in for your regular eye exams with our Edmonton Optometrist. 

When the impacts of diabetic retinopathy begin to appear, some of your symptoms may include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of your central vision
  • Experiencing flashes of light in your field of vision
  • Difficulty seeing colours
  • Experiencing black spots in your vision

The less controlled your blood glucose level (blood sugar) is and the longer you have had diabetes, the more likely you are to develop diabetic retinopathy. If your blood glucose level is too high for too long, it may block off the small blood vessels that keep your retina healthy. 

Visit Our Edmonton Optometrist to Learn More

Do you have any questions about ocular detection of diabetes or the ways that diabetic retinopathy can affect your eyes? Contact us at to schedule an appointment with our Edmonton Optometrist.