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Diabetes is a disease that has many health complications including affecting your vision.

Many patients suffering from diabetes may experience or develop vision problems as a result. It is important to have your eyes examined routinely to help manage conditions related to it. It will also help your health professional spot any conditions beforehand.

Why do I need an eye doctor to check my eyes regularly?

Ophthalmology is a more specialized medical practice that goes beyond optometry and includes surgical procedures. An incredibly skilled and experienced ophthalmologist uses specialized equipment and tools to help detect eye diseases at an early stage.

If you’ve already developed retinopathy or other forms of eye diseases and conditions, your ophthalmologist in Las Vegas will help you develop treatment tailored to your eyes’ needs.

How can diabetes affect the eyes?

Depending on the eye disease or conditions developed by the patient, he/she may experience the following complications and effects:

  • Impaired vision
  • Partial or complete blindness
  • Retinal Detachment
  • Glaucoma
  • Cloud-like coverage that develops over the eye (cataracts)

What conditions and eye diseases do patients with diabetes need to be aware of?


Glaucoma is an eye disease more prevalent in diabetic patients. However, it is also hereditary and patients with a family history of the disease are also at risk of developing it.

Who is at Risk for Developing Glaucoma?

  • Older patients (60years+)
  • Patients who may have suffered an eye injury
  • Nearsighted patients
  • Patients with family history of Glaucoma

Glaucoma causes pressure on the eye’s optic nerve and with time the damage progresses.  This optic nerve is responsible for sending visual messages to your brain. With time, glaucoma could damage the nerve to the point of visual loss.

What are the Symptoms of Glaucoma? 

Most types of glaucoma occur without any symptoms which is why it is important to take preventative measures by regularly receiving comprehensive eye exams.

Diagnosing Glaucoma

The eye doctor does various tests and examination of the patient’s eyes. This may include a tonometry test (measuring the fluid pressure inside the eyes).  A Visual Field test is done to determine vision loss as a result of glaucoma or other conditions like stroke or neurological conditions.

Other tests include frequent intraocular pressure measurements and OCT tests.

What are the treatment options for glaucoma? 

One cannot cure the damage glaucoma does to the eyes. However, patients with glaucoma and diabetes manage their condition and regularly check their eyes.

Some treatments may include prescription eye drops to help manage the IOP, medication and surgery.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes may cause retinopathy. It causes damage to the retina of the eye. This part of the eye is a very thin layer of tissue that plays the role of transmitting light into neural messages for the brain to process. This is what gives the images we see all around us, this is our sight.

Some eye diseases caused by diabetes such as diabetic retinopathy may not show any symptoms during the early stages. This is often why it is crucial to regularly see an eye doctor specialized in ophthalmology.

Who is at risk of diabetic retinopathy? 

  • Patients suffering from diabetes (any age) and who are not controlling their insulin and sugar levels
  • Excessive smokers
  • Excessive drinkers with diabetes
  • Patients suffering from renal disease
  • Patients with hypertension
  • Patients with high cholesterol

What are the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy?

  • Black or “empty” images in the patient’s vision
  • Dark spots floating in the patient’s vision aka “floaters”
  • Inability to differentiate colors in vision
  • Inability to see

Diagnosing Retinopathy

Your eye doctor will do a special examination that requires dilated pupils. This will help find abnormalities in the blood vessels, as well as identify swelling inside the retina.

Diabetes can starve the blood vessels from nutrition which signals the body to try to create new blood vessels in the eye. Eye specialists will also look for any scar tissue and new blood vessel development. Other checks include abnormal optic nerves, as well as retinal detachment.

What are the treatment options for retinopathy? 

Diabetic retinopathy may lead to complete vision loss. An experienced ophthalmologist can help you treat diabetic retinopathy and manage the condition.

Some treatment options include “Panretinal photocoagulation” to shrink the size of abnormal blood vessels in the eye. The other is “Photocoagulation” to slow down fluid leaking into the eye.

Other treatment includes injecting medication directly into the eye as well as surgery.

Dry eyes

Dry eyes affect most people, especially during seasonal changes. However, dry eye is a problem when it starts affecting your life and over the counter treatments don’t seem to work.

Dry eyes are essentially the eyes state of being dry and not producing enough tears or overproducing tears.

Who is at risk of developing dry eyes? 

  • Women
  • Older people
  • Prolonged screen use (smartphones, computers, TVs)
  • Bad lighting
  • Diabetic patients
  • People living in dry or humid conditions

What are the symptoms of dry eyes?

  • Light sensitivity
  • Painful eyes
  • Redness
  • Blurred vision
  • Burning or scratchy discomfort

Diagnosing dry eyes

Your ophthalmologist will do tests and examine your eyes. After careful examination, the doctor will see what treatment is necessary.

Dry eye syndrome and patients suffering from Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) require effective treatment and not simply over the counter medication. This is mainly because their eyes are incapable of producing enough tears and other times the oil inside the tears to lubricate the eye.

What are the treatment options for dry eyes? 

Treatment includes eye drops, artificial tear gel, ointments and lifestyle changes. Our ophthalmologists at Abrams Eye Institute can help using state-of-the-art, in-office treatments for severe dry eyes.

LASIK surgery

Lasik is very effective for treating myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and other refractive conditions. Your ophthalmologist will assess whether you’re a suitable candidate for the surgery.

Dr. Abrams is an award-winning Las Vegas ophthalmologist who has performed many advanced eye surgeries for many types of eye conditions. His work has helped many patients’ lead better lives through improved vision.

Book your appointment with the Abrams Eye Institute team today!