Accessibility View Close toolbar

Diabetes and Blindness

WARNING - If you are diabetic and having unusual blurry vision, please call us immediately, tell us you are diabetic and this is unusual so we can get you in right away! Don't go more than 2 or 3 days with this condition. We have seen a recent trend wherein patients come in just thinking they either need glasses because their vision is blurry or need a new prescription in their glasses. While this is most often the case, there have been instances when there is something going on in the back of the eye which is causing vision loss. This needs to be dealt with immediately to preserve any remaining vision. PLEASE DON'T WAIT!

According to an article by Marilyn Haddrill at, diabetic retinopathy — vision-threatening damage to the retina of the eye caused by diabetes — is the leading cause of blindness among working-age Americans, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Yet, many cases could be prevented with regular eye exams and appropriate treatment. Currently more than 5 million Americans age 40 and older have diabetic retinopathy due to type 1 or type 2 diabetes. And that number will grow to about 16 million by 2050, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).The CDC also estimates that nearly 26 million Americans, or 8.3 percent of the U.S. population, had diabetes in 2010, and 79 million Americans adults age 20 or older are at high risk for the disease.Also, between 12,000 and 24,000 new cases of blindness related to diabetic retinopathy occur in the United States each year, the CDC says.

In the State of Michigan, optometrists, such as Dr. Atkins, have the same capability to diagnose diabetic retinopathy as an ophthalmologist. An ophthalmologist is primarily a surgeon, and should surgery ever become necessary, then Dr. Atkins would send you to the appropriate specialist. Until that time, feel confident that your care is in appropriate hands with Dr. Atkins. Additionally, Dr. Atkins added a state-of-the-art retinal camera so that he can take pictures of the back of your eyes with little or no dilation. He will show you the pictures of your eyes and go over them in detail so you understand what you are being shown.

Go to our page "RETINAL PHOTOGRAPHY" to see how Dr. Atkins monitors your diabetic health in relation to your eyes.