diabetic eye specialists

Diabetic Eye Disease

Diagnosis & Treatment

Our Mission

To provide the best possible eye care for patients in Eastern Idaho

Eye Specialists
What to expect from Premier Eye Care:
  • Knowledgeable, friendly, and thorough service
  • State-of-the-art technology
  • Optimal eye health and vision
  • Comprehensive eye care, unique to you

What Is Diabetic Eye Disease?

People that suffer from diabetes have to deal with many health issues, many of which extend to the eyes. Diabetic eye disease refers to several eye problems patients with diabetes deal with.

In a lot of cases, they have to deal with these eye problems simultaneously. High blood sugar will not initially cause vision problems other than mild blurriness due to swelling in your eyes.

If glucose levels remain elevated over a long period of time, blood vessels inside of your eyes can become permanently damaged. Keep reading to learn more about diabetic eye disease!

Diabetic Retinopathy

Your retina is an extremely important part of your vision. It contains the necessary components to detect light and translate it into images that are sent to the brain as electrical impulses.

Retinas are also very sensitive and fragile, so any problems with them are serious and need to be taken care of immediately.

When the blood vessels inside of your eye are damaged due to high blood sugar, they can bleed and leak into the retina. Without intervention, the blood vessels become weaker and weaker over time.

This eventually leads to them completely closing off and triggering the growth of new blood vessels. These new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina.

New blood vessels combined with bleeding, leaking, and scarring of old blood vessels can lead to permanent retinal damage. It can even go so far as to cause retinal detachment.

In its early stages, diabetic retinopathy can be treated with better management of blood sugar levels. For advanced diabetic retinopathy, there are several different treatment options available.

Which treatment your doctor recommends is largely dependent on your specific retinal problems.

Diabetic Macular Edema

The center of the retina is called the macula. The macula handles the central part of your vision.

When the blood vessels in your retina swell due to diabetic retinopathy, it can cause swelling of the macula. This is also called macular edema.

Macular edema destroys vision and can lead to vision loss or even blindness. Certain surgical laser procedures can help relieve diabetic macular edema but prevention is more effective.


Cataracts occur when the lenses in our eyes cloud over. Even though this is a natural part of aging, diabetes can cause patients to develop cataracts at an earlier age.

It is believed that this is due to a buildup of deposits in your lenses from high glucose levels.


Glaucoma is a symptomless condition that gradually causes total vision loss if not diagnosed and treated early. Glaucoma develops in many patients who don’t have glaucoma. However, studies have shown that diabetics are twice as likely to develop glaucoma.

If you’re a diabetic, you should have eye exams on a more regular basis. Talk to your eye doctor to find out how often you should be having eye exams.

Can’t remember the last time you had an eye exam? Have more questions about diabetic retinopathy or diabetic eye diseases?

Schedule an appointment at Premier Eye Care of Eastern Idaho in Idaho Falls, ID to discuss your concerns with one of our eye doctors!

Diabetic Eye Disease

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions? Call or schedule an appointment to get a more in-depth look at your eye health.

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Who's at the most risk for Diabetic Retinopathy?

Most people do not develop diabetic retinopathy until they have had diabetes for at least 10 years.

Type 2 Diabetes patients should be evaluated once they are diagnosed and every year after. While Type 1 diabetes patients should be checked after 5 years of diagnosis.

Is there any way to prevent Diabetic Retinopathy?

Keep your blood sugar at an even level and if you have high blood pressure, make sure you are keeping that under control as well. Maintaining even levels of both of these processes as well as yearly eye exams will help decrease your risk for diabetic retinopathy.

What Are Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy?

If you are experiencing blurred vision, poor night vision, vision fluctuations, and seeing spots or floaters, you should see an opthalmologist immediately. These are all key symptoms of diabetic retinopathy.

How can Diabetic Macular Edema affect my vision?

You may experience vision blurriness or waviness in the center of your vision. There may also be an appearance of blind spots or patches and colors seem to look dull. These are serious symptoms and can affect your ability to drive, read, and write.

What does a diabetic eye exam involve?

If you're a diabetic, then at the appointment we will check your vision and then dilate your eyes. When we dilate the eyes, we get a really good view of the retina: where diabetic retinopathy occurs. We then view the dilated eye with a series of lenses to pick up any changes within the eye indicating diabetic retinopathy.

Why are eye exams so essential when someone has diabetes?

It's important that diabetics get yearly eye appointments to check for diabetic retinopathy. Severe cases can lead to blindness, but if the early signs are caught early, there is a lot we can do to treat the disease before it progresses further.
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Our Locations

Monday-Thursday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday 8:00 am - 3:00pm
Idaho Falls, ID
2100 Providence Way Idaho Falls, ID 83404

Located South of EIRMC and Sunnyside Rd in Idaho Falls

Location Details
(208) 529-6600
Pocatello, ID
1777 E Clark St #310 Pocatello, ID 83201

Located on Clark St. right off of I-15 take exit 69. Between 16th & 17th Ave.

Location Details
(208) 232-4133
Rexburg, ID
23 Sawtelle Ave Suite 102 Rexburg, ID 83440

Right off of Main Street West of I-15 across from Valley Wide Country Store & Blister's BBQ.

Location Details
(208) 359-1888
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