Diabetic Eye Care

Eyecare MPLS: Stella Hennen, MD, MSPH -  - Ophthalmologist

Eyecare MPLS: Stella Hennen, MD, MSPH

Ophthalmologist & Glaucoma Specialist located in Uptown, Minneapolis, MN

Annual diabetic eye exams are essential for all diabetes sufferers. At Eyecare MPLS, dedicated ophthalmologist Stella Hennen, MD, MSPH, uses state-of-the-art diabetic screening tools to diagnose problems like diabetic retinopathy before they cause major eye damage. She also treats all eye problems connected to diabetes and helps you avoid new eye health problems. Call the Minneapolis, Minnesota, office or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.

Diabetic Eye Care

How can diabetes harm my eyes?

High blood sugar, the main problem with diabetes, causes two main kinds of damage in your eyes. First, high blood sugar can cause eye lens swelling. This may come and go as your blood sugar levels fluctuate and alter the lens shape, which means you may have sporadic blurry vision.

High blood sugar also causes serious damage in your blood vessels over time. This affects the tiny blood vessels inside your retina, the part of the eye that transforms light into signals that your brain then makes into images.

Eventually, diabetes can cause or contribute to very serious conditions, including:

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when your retinal blood vessels are damaged. It's the most common cause of irreversible blindness among American adults today.


Cataracts (cloudy eye lenses) are very common in older adults, but diabetes sufferers tend to develop them earlier in life. Most cataracts develop extremely slowly, over decades, but diabetes is also connected to more rapid cataract growth.


When you have diabetes, you're at a higher risk of developing glaucoma, a condition in which high eye pressure damages your optic nerve.

The longer diabetes is uncontrolled, the higher the risk of diabetic eye disease. If discovered early, usually during a diabetic eye exam, you can minimize the damage.

What happens during a diabetic eye exam?

During your diabetic eye exam, Dr. Hennen dilates your eyes to open your pupils. Dr. Hennen checks for abnormal blood vessels, bleeding, scar tissue, swelling, and other changes in your retina and other parts of your eye.

She may use a variety of tests and assessments to look for signs of diabetic eye damage, including: 

  • Visual field testing of central and peripheral vision
  • Ultrasound biomicroscopy: analysis of the front third of your eye 
  • Spectral domain optical coherence tomography: high-speed retinal layer imaging 
  • Fundus photography: images of your inner eye
  • Eye pressure measurements of your inner eye fluid

Dr. Hennen can diagnose diabetic eye disease, and in some cases, she may be the first doctor to suspect diabetes due to changes observed in your eyes. 

With this early diagnosis, you can manage and treat diabetic eye problems effectively, saving your vision and preserving your eye health.

How often do I need diabetic eye exams?

It depends on your particular needs, but most diabetes sufferers schedule a diabetic eye exam once a year. 

At Eyecare MPLS, Dr. Hennen assesses your personal risk factors, eye health, and general physical health to determine the right exam schedule for you. She believes a doctor-patient partnership that emphasizes optimal eye health and vision is vital.

Call Eyecare MPLS or use online booking to schedule your diabetic eye exam today.

Disclaimer: This information is not comprehensive to cover all your ophthalmology needs. Call the office to book an appointment to discuss your condition with Dr. Hennen.

612-470-9871 Book Online