Diabetic retinopathy: This is the most common and most serious diabetic eye disease. It is the leading cause of blindness in working-age Australians.
Transient blurring of vision: The unusual changes in blood glucose levels resulting from diabetes can affect the shape of the lens inside the eye, changing the focus, especially when blood glucose levels are high. This can result in blurring of vision, which comes and goes over the day, depending on blood glucose levels. This is generally a short term effect, but may impact some people for several months.
Cataract: A longer-term effect of diabetes is that the lens of the eye can become cloudy. This is called cataract. Cataracts can form in anyone, but they are more frequent and occur earlier in life in people with diabetes.
Glaucoma: Diabetes increases the risk of glaucoma, which results in progressive damage to the optic nerve at the back of the eye. While this normally develops slowly without symptoms in the early stages, it can lead to blindness if not detected early and treated effectively.