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Why You Need To See An Eye Doctor If You Have Diabetes

When you have diabetes you must keep your glucose level within the normal range, faithfully take any recommended medications, eat healthy, and inject needed insulin. This is a good start to stay healthy with diabetes. Now let’s look at why you need to see an eye doctor if you have diabetes.

Man having a diabetic eye exam.

Diabetes And Its Effects

Diabetes can affect many parts of your body. It can do damage to the nerves and blood vessels in your body, and both of those can affect your eyes. It increases your risk for eye conditions like glaucoma and cataracts, but the main concern is developing diabetic retinopathy.

Glucose or blood sugar is our main source of energy, but if too much is circulating in our blood, it becomes harmful to us. The pancreas releases insulin, a hormone that helps cells absorb glucose for that energy. When you have diabetes, the body doesn’t make enough insulin or is unable to use it effectively. That is how glucose accumulates in the blood.

Your Ophthalmologist, Hecht Eye Institute, Is Your Friend

You should have at least one dilated eye exam per year. Sometimes you might need more if your ophthalmologist is watching any changes in your vision. These regular exams can identify any eye problems early even before they noticeably affect your vision.

Reasons To See Hecht Eye Institute

The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to suffer from some type of vision issue and other complications.

Diabetic Retinopathy

This condition affects the retina in the back of your eyes. Too much glucose in the blood begins to interfere with the tiny blood vessels which provide blood to the retina for proper vision. If they are damaged, other blood vessels grow abnormally and after time, they can leak or rupture, and you can lose vision or even become blind.

If you begin to experience blurry vision, an increase in floaters, or poor night vision, make an appointment at one of our offices in Southern California as soon as possible. Although diabetic retinopathy is not reversible, it is treatable. 


Glaucoma causes fluid pressure in the eye which can damage the optic nerve leading to vision loss. Diabetes increases the risk of pressure making you more likely to develop glaucoma.


Cataracts normally affect older adults. If you have diabetes, you have a higher risk of getting cataracts due to high blood sugar and blood vessel damage.

Diabetic Macular Edema

The part of the retina that helps you see fine details and colors is known as the macula. This condition accompanied by an accumulation of fluid causes the macula to swell leading to blurry vision.

Other Conditions

When high blood sugar levels are outside a healthy range, you can develop the following conditions:

  • Heart damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Nerve damage
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Foot damage
  • Depression
  • Skin conditions

Don’t delay to visit your ophthalmologist if you have any vision changes.

Contact Hecht Eye Institute at (310) 370-5648 for a dilated eye examination if you have diabetes.

Ready to get started?

Schedule your appointment with Dr. Hecht and be on your way to better eye health!