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Diabetic Eye Disease Specialist

Neel  Lamba, MD, MBA -  - Ophthalmologist

Neel Lamba, MD, MBA

Ophthalmologist & Retina and Vitreous Specialist located in Wicker Park, Chicago, IL

If you don’t manage your diabetes, the excess glucose that builds up in your bloodstream can wreak havoc on various organs, including your eyes. To avoid vision blurring or loss, ophthalmologist Neel Lamba, MD, provides evaluations and treatment for diabetic eye diseases at his private practice in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. For more information about diabetic eye diseases and available treatments, call Neel Lamba, MD.

Diabetic Eye Disease Q & A

What is diabetic eye disease?

Diabetic eye disease is a group of ophthalmological complications that can result from unmanaged or mismanaged diabetes. Diabetes is a metabolic disease that affects the way your cells receive glucose from your blood to use for energy. Specifically, diabetes causes you to lack the ability to produce or use insulin, a hormone that facilitates the process. 

Untreated diabetes leads to glucose buildup in your blood, and excess glucose can lead to damage in many different organs and systems, including your eyes. You may experience blurry vision or a total loss of vision over time if you don’t manage your condition effectively.

What are the most common diabetic eye diseases?

If you have excessive glucose flowing through your blood vessels, it can affect your eyes and their function in several different ways. A few of the most common diabetic eye diseases are:

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy results from the swelling of the blood vessels within your retina, which is the light-sensitive area of tissue in the back of your eye. They might also leak or become blocked, resulting in the formation of new blood vessels that otherwise wouldn’t be there. It starts mildly but can cause blindness over time. 

Diabetic macular edema

Diabetic macular edema results from fluid buildup around the macula, which is located in the center of the retina. This can cause the macula to swell and can eventually lead to vision loss. 


Cataracts are cloudy areas in the lenses of your eyes. They happen when proteins within the lens break down, and the fragments clump together. Diabetes increases your chances of developing cataracts by about 60%.


If you have diabetes, you’re twice as likely to develop glaucoma as a nondiabetic individual. It causes abnormally high pressure within your eye, which in turn damages your optic nerve. 

In addition to these specific diseases, quick changes in blood sugar levels due to diabetes can result in changes to the shape of your lenses, leading to temporary blurry vision. 

How can I prevent or manage diabetic eye disease?

One of the most effective ways to prevent or manage diabetic eye disease is to manage your diabetes effectively. If you have Type 1 diabetes, which stems from the inability to produce insulin in the pancreas, you must take insulin daily. 

Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, which stem from the inability to use the insulin you have efficiently, are treatable with healthy lifestyle changes and various medications.

If your diabetic eye disease is advanced, Dr. Lamba might recommend one or more of the newest available treatments to manage it:

  • Laser photocoagulation
  • Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) injections
  • Vitrectomy surgery

If you have diabetes, you should book regular eye exams with Dr. Lamba to evaluate you for signs of diabetic eye disease, even if you aren’t experiencing vision loss. 

Schedule your appointment with Neel Lamba, MD, to learn more about diabetic eye disease and available treatments. Call the office today.