Diabetes and its complications can affect many parts of the eye. Diabetes can cause changes in nearsightedness, farsightedness and premature presbyopia (the inability to focus on close objects). It can result in cataracts, glaucoma, a lack of eye muscle coordination, strabismus and in decreased corneal sensitivity. Visual symptoms of diabetes include fluctuating or blurring of vision, occasional double vision, loss of visual field and flashes and floaters within the eyes. Sometimes these early signs of diabetes are first detected in a thorough eye examination by our doctors. The most serious eye problem associated with diabetes is diabetic retinopathy. This occurs when there is a weakening or swelling of the tiny blood vessels in the retina of your eye, resulting in blood leakage, the growth of new blood vessels and other changes. Early detection is critical because if untreated, blindness can result. During your routine visit with us, we can diagnose potential vision threatening changes in your eye that can be treated to prevent blindness. It is important to monitor and control your diabetes as much as possible to minimize your risk of developing retinopathy. Several factors that increase the risk of developing retinopathy include smoking, high blood pressure, drinking alcohol and pregnancy.