types of diabetic eye disease
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common form of eye problem affecting people with diabetes. Additional diabetes-related eye problems are also seen in these patients (1)
The ocular complication of diabetes may be specific to progression of the ocular disease or, more commonly, may be non-specific recognised associations of diabetes in the eye.
- retinal detachment cataract
- caused by the accumulation of fluid between the neural retina and the retinal pigment epithelium and in non-diabetic patients most commonly results from a tear in the retina (rhegmatogenous retinal detachment)
- rubeosis iridis
- growth of new vessels on the iris in eyes with advanced retinal ischaemia
- a specific form of “snow-flake” cataract is recognised in younger diabetics
- optic neuropathy
- presents as swelling of the optic discs associated with gradual reduction in visual acuity
- ocular muscle palsies
- particularly with Type 2 diabetes
- non specific
- age-related cataract occurs earlier in patients with diabetes.
- glaucoma is found more readily diabetics
- retinal vein occlusion/optic disc swelling
- diabetics are at higher risk of developing optic nerve disease due to vascular occlusion, which is distinct from diabetes-specific optic neuropathy
- usually occurs in older patients with Type 2 diabetes and hypertension (2)
- (1) American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) 2016. Preferred Practice Pattern guidelines. Diabetic retinopathy.
- (2) The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) 2012. Diabetic retinopathy guidelines
Last reviewed 12/2020