Diabetic eye disease: 1. A disease of the small blood vessels of the retina of the eye in people with diabetes. The vessels swell and leak liquid into the retina, blurring the vision and sometimes leading to blindness. Also called diabetic retinopathy. 2. Any eye disease to which diabetes predisposes including not only diabetic retinopathy but also cataracts (clouding of the lens) and glaucoma (increased fluid pressure inside the eye that can lead to optic nerve damage and loss of vision).
It is recommended that all diabetics have a dilated eye examination at least once a year.