By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Many people are not aware that diabetes which is not controlled over time can effect the vision. That is because, over the years, uncontrolled blood sugar can damage the vision and having regular ophthalmologic examinations is very important for diabetics.

But there is good news. Many people are heeding the advice and the percentage of people with diabetes who have vision problems is declining.

In a study of nearly 1,000 people with type one diabetes, researchers found that visual impairment was less common than in previous decades.

In diabetes, impaired vision is largely the result of an eye disease called diabetic retinopathy; a long-term complication caused by damage to the tiny blood vessels supplying the retina.

There are some treatments. Laser surgery can treat more advanced stages of diabetic retinopathy as well as macular edema, which is a swelling of the retina commonly seen in people with advanced retinopathy.

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