Diabetes is the leading cause of new blindness in patients aged 25-74 years old in the United States. Diabetes has specific manifestations in the eye that result from damage of the small blood vessels in the retina, resulting in leaky blood vessels or abnormal blood vessel formation. Both of these abnormalities can permanently compromise your vision and are referred to as diabetic retinopathy. Having diabetes increases your risk of glaucoma, cataracts, and other eye conditions. If you have diabetic retinopathy with certain characteristics, specific laser or medical treatments are available that can prevent progressive vision loss. It is important for people with diabetes to be seen annually for eye examinations to determine if or when treatments should be performed. You may not realize that your eyes have been affected until the damage has progressed. The doctors at Athens Eye Associates can identify problems like this early in the disease process, if you have a diabetic eye exam on a regular basis. We work with your primary care doctor to ensure your diabetes is optimally managed and that retinopathy is prevented or managed appropriately.