Diabetic Eye Disease: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 5/26/2021

Diabetic eye disease arises due to damage to the small blood vessel in the retina in the back of the eye. The condition is also referred to as diabetic retinopathy.

Signs and symptoms of diabetic eye disease include vison changes such as

  • floaters (shapes that appear to be floating in the field of vision),
  • blurred vision,
  • dark areas of vision,
  • reduced visual acuity or blindness in severe cases,
  • distorted vision,
  • impaired color vision, or
  • seeing spots.

In some cases, eye pain or redness may be present.

Cause of diabetic eye disease

It is caused by persistently elevated blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. The damage to the blood vessels causes leakage of fluid into the retina, producing visual symptoms.

Other diabetic eye disease symptoms and signs

  • Blurred Vision
  • Dark Areas of Vision
  • Distorted Vision
  • Floaters (Shapes That Appear to Be Floating in the Field of Vision)
  • Impaired Color Vision
  • Reduced Visual Acuity or Blindness in Severe Cases
  • Seeing Spots

Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.