We compared vestibulo-ocular reflex, optokinetic reflex and postural function in subjects with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), as well as non-diabetic controls. Both IDDM and NIDDM subjects exhibited significant deficits in gaze-holding in darkness (p < 0.05), small changes in vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) phase re velocity (p < 0.005) without a change in VOR gain, and a decrease in optokinetic reflex (OKR) slow phase velocity (p < 0.001). In addition, a smaller decrease was found in OKR quick phase amplitude (p < 0.02); postural sway was increased in both diabetic groups (p < 0.05), although this was not specific to the conditions of the Clinical Test of Sensory Interaction and Balance (CTSIB) that test vestibular contributions to postural stability. No differences were found in optokinetic afternystagmus or latency to circularvection. These results suggest that both IDDM and NIDDM are associated with deficits in gaze-holding, VOR and OKR function.