- People with diabetes are more likely than people without diabetes to develop certain eye diseases.
True. Diabetic eye disease includes diabetic retinopathy, cataract, and glaucoma. Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness in adults. The longer someone has diabetes, the more likely he or she will develop diabetic eye disease.
- Diabetic eye disease usually has early warning signs.
False. There are often no warning signs in the early stages of diabetic eye disease. Vision may not change until the disease becomes severe.
- People with diabetes should have yearly eye examinations.
True. Everyone with diabetes should get an eye examination through dilated pupils at least once a year. Because diabetic eye disease usually has no symptoms, regular eye exams are important for early detection and timely treatment.
- Diabetic retinopathy is caused by changes in the blood vessels in the eye.
True. In some people, blood vessels in the retina may swell and leak fluid. In other people, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina.
- People with diabetes are at low risk for developing glaucoma.
False. Glaucoma is almost twice as likely to occur in people with diabetes compared to those without the disease. Glaucoma usually can be treated with medications, laser surgery, or conventional surgery.
- Laser surgery can be used to halt the progression of diabetic retinopathy.
True. In laser surgery, a special beam of light is used to shrink the abnormal blood vessels or seal leaking blood vessels. Laser surgery has been proven to reduce the five-year risk of vision loss from advanced diabetic retinopathy by more than 90 percent.
- People with diabetes should have regular eye examinations through dilated pupils.
True. An eye examination through dilated pupils is the best way to detect diabetic eye disease. In a dilated eye exam, drops are used to enlarge the pupils. This dilation allows the eye care professional to see more of the inside of the eye to check for signs of the disease.
- Cataracts are common among people with diabetes.
True. People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop cataracts and to develop them at an earlier age as those without diabetes. Cataract surgery is safe and effective, with a 90 percent improvement rate.
- People who have good control of their diabetes are not at high risk for diabetic eye disease.
False. Even with good control of blood glucose, there is still a risk of developing diabetic eye disease. However, studies show that careful management of blood sugar levels slows the onset and progression of diabetic retinopathy.
- The risk of blindness from diabetic eye disease can be reduced.
True. With early detection and timely treatment, the risk of blindness from diabetic eye disease can be reduced.