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Diabetes mellitus can lead to blindness through its effects on the retina and lens, yet diabetes is a systemic disease influencing the entire eye. The current interest in extended wear contact lenses emphasizes the need for the practitioners to have a thorough knowledge of the pathophysiology of the anterior eye and cornea of the diabetic. The current literature is reviewed, and its relevance to contact lens wear is discussed.

(C)1988 American Academy of Optometry