Learn more about retinal eye care

What is retinal eye care? Conditions, treatment options and more!

Detailed diagram of the eye

At a Glance:

Things to know and remember:

  • Diabetic eye disease comprises a group of eye conditions that affect people with diabetes. These conditions include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema (DME), cataract, and glaucoma.
  • All forms of diabetic eye disease have the potential to cause severe vision loss and blindness.
  • Macular Degeneration is a leading cause of blindness in people over 60.
  • There are two forms of age-related macular degeneration -- dry and wet.
  • AMD causes no pain, but an early symptom of wet AMD is that straight lines appear wavy. The most common symptom of dry AMD is slightly blurred vision.
  • Symptoms of a retinal detachment include a sudden increase in the number of specks floating in your vision (floaters), flashes of light in one eye or both eyes, a “curtain” or shadow over your field of vision.
  • Retinal detachment can happen to anyone. If you have an eye injury or trauma (like something hitting your eye), it’s important to see an eye doctor to check for early signs of retinal detachment

About Diabetic Eye Disease

What is diabetic eye disease?

Diabetic eye disease is a group of eye conditions that can affect people with diabetes.

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease. Diabetic retinopathy affects blood vessels in the light-sensitive tissue called the retina that lines the back of the eye. It is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes and the leading cause of vision impairment and blindness among working-age adults.

Diabetic macular edema (DME). A consequence of diabetic retinopathy, DME is the build-up of fluid (edema) in a region of the retina called the macula. The macula is important for the sharp, straight-ahead vision that is used for reading, recognizing faces, and driving. DME is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetic retinopathy. About half of all people with diabetic retinopathy will develop DME. Although it is more likely to occur as diabetic retinopathy worsens, DME can happen at any stage of the disease.

Diabetic eye disease can also include cataract and glaucoma. Adults with diabetes are 2-5 times more likely than those without diabetes to develop cataract. Cataract also tends to develop at an earlier age in people with diabetes. With glaucoma, diabetes nearly doubles the risk of glaucoma in adults.

All forms of diabetic eye disease have the potential to cause severe vision loss and blindness. That’s why early diagnosis and treatment are always the best options for diabetic patients. In fact, because diabetic eye disease often goes unnoticed until vision loss occurs, people with diabetes should get a diabetic eye exam at least once a year.

About Macular Degeneration

What is macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration, or age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 and older. It is a disease that destroys your sharp, central vision. You need central vision to see objects clearly and to do tasks such as reading and driving.

AMD affects the macula, the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail. It does not hurt, but it causes cells in the macula to die. In some cases, AMD advances so slowly that people notice little change in their vision. In others, the disease progresses faster and may lead to a loss of vision in both eyes. Regular comprehensive eye exams can detect macular degeneration before the disease causes vision loss. Treatment can slow vision loss. It does not restore vision.

About Retinal Detachment

What is retinal detachment?

Retinal detachment is an eye problem that happens when your retina (a light-sensitive layer of tissue in the back of your eye) is pulled away from its normal position at the back of your eye.

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