When diabetes affects your eyes

What is diabetic eye disease?

Cross section of an eye

Diabetic eye disease can affect many parts of the eye, including the retina, macula, lens and the optic nerve.

  • Diabetic retinopathy affects blood vessels in the retina that lines the back of the eye. It is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes and the primary cause of blindness in adults.
  • Diabetic macular edema (DME). A consequence of diabetic retinopathy, DME is swelling in an area of the retina called the macula.