What is a Diabetic eye exam? How does diabetes affect your eyes?? Patients with diabetes can develop damage in the back of their eyes, specifically in their retinas. Blood vessels in diabetics become weak, fragile, and leaky due to high blood sugar. In the retina and the kidneys, blood vessels are tiny and the most prone to diabetic damage, leading to swelling and bleeding in the back of the eye. Over time the body senses the continued loss to the back of the eye, and your eye attempts to fix the situation by growing new blood vessels. However, these new vessels are NOT strong and will also leak or rupture and can impact your vision and may require injections as treatment. At a diabetic eye exam, Dr. Nguyen or Dr. Kawa will dilate your eyes (yes, those blurry vision drops) to make sure they don’t see any or early signs for damage to the vessels in the back of your eye. Diabetic eye exams should be performed once a year.