Yonge Eyes Optometry

Diabetic Eye Exams in Toronto

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Protect Your Eyes from the Risk of Diabetes

Diabetes is a systemic disease that affects all areas of your body. Depending on the type of diabetes you have, it affects how your body produces or uses insulin. Insulin regulates the glucose (sugar) in your bloodstream by processing it into energy.

Too much sugar in the bloodstream can damage organs, nerves, and blood vessels. Since the eyes are delicate organs with many tiny, fragile blood vessels, diabetes puts them at significant risk.

11 million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes. For those with diabetes or at risk of developing diabetes, the best protection for your eyes is an annual eye exam. Your optometrist can also diagnose diabetes during an eye exam, even before your family physician can.

How Does Diabetes Affect the Eyes?

Diabetes is the single leading cause of blindness in Canada. Those with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing several eye diseases, including cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and diabetic macular edema.


Cataracts are an eye disease that causes the clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Although they usually develop in those over 50, patients with diabetes are 5 times more likely to develop cataracts, and at an earlier age.

Fortunately, cataracts are manageable with eyeglasses or contact lenses. However, cataracts will continue to worsen over time. If cataracts affect your quality of life, you may qualify for cataract removal surgery. Learn more on our cataract page.

Glaucoma includes several eye diseases that cause progressive damage to the optic nerve. Patients with diabetes are twice as likely to develop glaucoma. And, interestingly, those with open-angle glaucoma are more likely to develop diabetes.

Glaucoma progresses without symptoms and can lead to blindness if not detected. Regular eye exams are essential for protecting your eyes from glaucoma, especially if you have diabetes. Learn more on our Eye Disease Diagnosis & Management page.

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is an eye disease specifically related to diabetes. It occurs when high blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels that feed the retina. DR can progress with mild symptoms you may not even notice, but it can lead to vision problems and blindness.

If you have diabetes, you should undergo annual eye exams to monitor your ocular health. If you experience any of the following vision changes, please call us immediately:

  • Spots or dark strings called floaters
  • Blurred vision
  • Fluctuating vision
  • Impaired colour vision
  • Dark or empty spots in your vision
  • Vision loss

Diabetic macular edema (DME) is a complication of diabetic retinopathy. It occurs when blood and fluid leak into the retina, causing swelling in the macula. DME can lead to vision problems and blindness.

Diagnosing & Treating Diabetic Eye Diseases

Diagnosing Diabetic Eye Disease

At Yonge Eyes Optometry, our optometrists can diagnose eye diseases during a comprehensive eye exam. We’ve invested in a high-powered fundus camera that captures full-colour photographs of the back interior of the eye (the fundus).

These photographs give us a detailed view of your macula, retina, retinal vascular system, and optic disc so we can look for the smallest signs of eye diseases associated with diabetes. Your eyes may be dilated during this test.

Many eye diseases have no cure and require lifelong management. If you’ve been diagnosed with an eye disease, We will refer you to appropriate ophthalmologists who will provide you with the necessary treatment.

Your treatments will vary depending on the type and stage of eye disease you have. Treatments can include:

  • Anti-VEGF injections to block the growth of abnormal blood vessels and fluid leaks from macular edema. These medications are administered by your optometrist during office visits.
  • Photocoagulation laser treatments create tiny burns to stop leaking blood vessels and prevent vision loss. It can treat diabetic macular edema and proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
  • Vitrectomy is a surgery to treat severe bleeding and scar tissue caused by proliferative diabetic retinopathy. A vitrectomy involves replacing the vitreous with saline (saltwater).

Our Services

Where to Find Us

Our clinic is located on Yonge Street, right beside the Royal Bank. We’re on the second floor, so we are not wheelchair accessible at this time. But, if you have a stroller, please call ahead, and we would be happy to help you up the stairs.

Our Address

3220 Yonge Street, 2nd Floor
Toronto, ON M4N 2L2

Located in Yonge Lawrence Village

Contact Information

Our Hours

Our Hours

10 AM5 PM
10 AM5 PM
10 AM5 PM
11 AM7 PM
10 AM5 PM
10 AM2 PM

*please call to confirm hours

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