Diabetes and Eye Health


Taking good care of your eyes is especially important for people with type 1 diabetes. No matter what your blood sugar levels or A1c is, we all need annual eye exams to help us prevent eye complications and treat them as soon as possible to protect our vision.

Learn everything you need to know about how diabetes can impact your eyes, and what you can do to keep them healthy!

Eye Health Basics

annual diabetes eye exam

Why You Should Schedule Your Annual Diabetes Eye Exam

Your annual diabetes eye exam is the best way to protect your vision from diabetes-related eye complications.MORE
annual diabetes eye exam

What to Expect at Your Annual Diabetes Eye Exam

Painless and non-invasive, your annual diabetes eye exam will be looking for signs of these five eye conditions...MORE

What’s the Difference: Ophthalmologist vs. Optometrist vs. Optician

Regular appointments with eye specialists are the best way to protect your eyes and your vision from diabetes complications.MORE
what is 20/20 vision?

What does 20/20 vision mean?

The vision test you’ve probably been doing since you were 3 years old is called “visual acuity testing” and it determines whether your vision is 20/20 or something else.MORE

Protecting Your Eyes as a Person of Color with Diabetes

Dr. Kristen Nwanyanwu is working to improve eye care and diabetes education provided to people of color with diabetes.MORE
lasik eye surgery

Can People with Diabetes Get LASIK Eye Surgery?

Have you heard rumors that you can’t get LASIK while living with diabetes? SPOILER: They’re not true! Learn more about getting LASIK...MORE

Tips to Protect Your Eyes

computer vision syndrome and blue light

Computer Screens & Blue Light: What Screen Time Can Do to Your Eyes

65% of Americans report experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain, also referred to as “computer vision syndrome”.MORE
sunglasses for people with diabetes

Which Sunglasses are Best for People with Diabetes?

You probably know that UVA and UVB light can both damage your skin -- increasing your risk of skin cancer -- but it’s important to protect your eyes from UV light, too.MORE

Eye Complications

dry eyes with diabetes

All About “Dry Eye” with Diabetes

One of the most common yet rarely talked about eye conditions in people with diabetes is “dry eye,” it affects approximately 54 percent of people with diabetes.MORE
diabetic retinopathy

All About Diabetic Retinopathy

Retinopathy is one of the most common and most serious diabetes-related eye complications. It’s actually the leading cause of preventable blindness.MORE
diabetic macular edema

All About Diabetic Macular Edema

Diabetic macular edema (DME) is extremely common in people with diabetic retinopathy. These two eye conditions are the leading cause of blindness in developed countries across the globe.MORE
cataracts in people with diabetes

All About Cataracts in People with Diabetes

For people with diabetes, chronically high blood sugar levels can affect the wellbeing of your lenses and lead to cataracts.MORE
glaucoma in people with diabetes

All About Glaucoma in People with Diabetes

People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop glaucoma compared to the non-diabetic population, but you can take steps to reduce your risk.MORE
floaters in your vision

Floaters in Your Vision: When Should You Be Concerned?

Floaters are very common in people with diabetes who have developed diabetic retinopathy or diabetic macular edema.MORE

Personal Stories

bethany's diabetic retinopathy story

Bethany’s Story: My Eye Started Bleeding the Day My First Child Was Born

With 40 years of type 1 diabetes under her belt, Bethany shares her experience with laser treatments for retinopathy.MORE
Rachael's story: diabetic retinopathy

Rachael’s Story: My Stage 4 Diabetic Retinopathy Went Undiagnosed for Years

Rachael's eye doctor missed the earlier stages of diabetic retinopathy because he wasn't doing certain tests.MORE
Patients Share: Treatments for Diabetes Eye Complications

Patients Share: Treatments for Diabetes Eye Complications

People with type 1 and type 2 diabetes share their experience receiving treatments for diabetes eye complications like retinopathy and macular edema, and how it’s helped save their vision. MORE
expert interview diabetes eye health

We Asked an Ophthalmologist: Who REALLY Needs Eye Exams?

Regardless of your A1c, Kevin Blinder, MD, ophthalmologist explains why everyone with diabetes needs an annual eye exam.MORE
Tiffani’s Story: The Cost of Not Taking My Insulin

Tiffani’s Story: The Cost of Not Taking My Insulin

Tiffani discusses her life as the recipient of both a kidney and pancreas transplant, losing her eyesight, and why taking your insulin is so important. MORE
getting lasik eye surgery with diabetes

My Experience Getting LASIK Eye Surgery as a Person with Diabetes

Ginger Vieira shares her experience getting LASIK eye surgery as a person with type 1 diabetes. Twelve years later, she's still so glad she did it.MORE

This portal on Eye Health was made possible through the ADA x BT1 Collab. To learn more about the importance of eye health for people living with diabetes, check out Focus on Diabetes on ADA’s website. 

WRITTEN BY Ginger Vieira, POSTED 05/21/21, UPDATED 01/05/23

Ginger Vieira is an author and writer living with type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, fibromyalgia and hypothyroidism. She’s authored a variety of books, including “When I Go Low” (for kids), “Pregnancy with Type 1 Diabetes,” and “Dealing with Diabetes Burnout.” Before joining Beyond Type 1, Ginger spent the last 15 years writing for Diabetes Mine, Healthline, T1D Exchange, Diabetes Strong and more! In her free time, she is jumping rope, scootering with her daughters, or walking with her handsome fella and their dog.