Type 1, or insulin-dependent, diabetes mellitus was formerly called juvenile-onset diabetes mellitus. The prevalence of retinopathy in this condition is directly proportional to the duration of diabetes mellitus after puberty. Poor glucose control can cause cataract. Retinopathy rarely occurs less than 15 years after the onset of diabetes mellitus. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is rare in pediatric cases (see BCSC Section 12, Retina and Vitreous). Diabetes mellitus, especially in young children, may be part of DIDMOAD syndrome (diabetes insipidus, diabetes mellitus, optic atrophy, and deafness). This condition, which is also known as Wolfram syndrome, is associated with congenital cataracts as well. BCSC Section 1, Update on General Medicine, discusses diabetes mellitus in greater detail.
To screen for diabetic retinopathy, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends annual ophthalmic examinations beginning 5 years after the onset of type 1 diabetes mellitus.
Treatment is discussed in BCSC Section 12, Retina and Vitreous.
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 10 - Glaucoma. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.