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How Does Diabetes Have an Impact on Your Eyes?

How Does Diabetes Have an Impact on Your Eyes?

Eye Care


Blurry vision can make it difficult for you to see finer details. Objects around you can lack sharpness, like the out-of-focus parts of a photograph. One of the main causes of blurry vision can be diabetes. Vision blurriness can change through the day and could be obvious or subtle. Depending on the cause, it can come quickly or slowly.

Also, the complications can be both long-term and short-term and can adversely affect the eyes and eyesight of a person with diabetes. This article discusses the effects of diabetes on your eyes.

How Does Diabetes Affect the Eyes?

High blood sugar caused due to diabetes can have the following short-term as well as long-term effects on your eyes:

  • Short-term: Here, the blurriness occurs due to different reasons. The fluid levels in your eyes can alter due to high blood sugar levels or cause the eyes to swell. Sometimes, the short-term issue resolves itself when the blood sugar levels fall. Furthermore, diabetes can also cause short-term blurriness if the blood sugar levels are too low. This condition is known as hypoglycemia.
  • Long-term: Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to high blood sugar levels that can cause damage to small blood vessels in the long run. Damaged blood vessels can leak fluid and lead to swelling. It can also cause new, fragile blood vessels to grow, which can bleed into the middle section of the eye. This can result in scarring or excessively high pressure inside the eye. Such issues can lead to other problems with the retina, which eventually creates a blurry vision and can even result in vision loss.

Eye Diseases Caused by Diabetes

The four most serious diabetic eye diseases include:

  1. Diabetic Macular Edema

The swelling of the macula due to diabetes is known as diabetic macular edema. This disease can destroy the sharp vision over time and lead to partial vision loss or total blindness. This diabetic eye disease generally develops in people who may already be suffering from other signs of diabetic retinopathy.

See Also: How does diabetic macular edema affect your vision

      2. Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy develops when damaged blood vessels harm the retina. The blood vessels can bulge, weaken, and leak into the retina in early diabetic retinopathy. This is known as non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy. If the disease worsens, the blood vessels close off, which can cause new blood vessels to grow on the retina surface. This is called proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

     3. Glaucoma

It is a group of eye diseases that can damage the optic nerve. Diabetes can increase the chances of developing glaucoma, which can cause blindness and loss of vision if not treated early.

     4. Cataracts

Unlike people without diabetes, cataracts can develop earlier in people with diabetes. According to research, high glucose levels cause deposits to build up in the eye lenses.

Diabetic Eye Disease Symptoms

The symptoms that occur can include:

  • Poor colour vision
  • Wavy or blurry vision
  • Frequent changes in the vision every day
  • Dark strings or spots (floaters)
  • Flashes of light
  • Vision loss

How to Protect Your Eyes from Diabetic Diseases

The best way to prevent diabetic eye diseases is to manage your diabetes ABCs:

  • A1c (This is a test to monitor your average blood glucose levels)
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol

You should also have a dilated eye exam once a year and quit smoking if you smoke. If you work to manage your diabetes and other health conditions at the earliest, it will be easier to take better care of yourself. It’s never too late to start. However, if you do suffer from any of the diabetic eye diseases symptoms, consult an eye care doctor immediately.

Which People Are More Likely to Develop Diabetic Eye Disease?

Any diabetic person can develop diabetic eye disease. The risk can increase with:

  • Untreated high blood pressure
  • Untreated high blood glucose
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Smoking

Furthermore, some groups are more affected by diabetic eye complications than others. For instance, older people are at greater risk of going blind or losing vision due to diabetes. The longer you have diabetes, the higher your chances of developing diabetic eye diseases.

Aside from diabetes, glaucoma, and cataracts, several other factors can cause blurry vision. You should visit an eye specialist if you suffer from any eye or vision symptoms.

Are you looking for the “best eye hospital near you” or “nearest eye hospital”? Netralayam is a super specialty eye care hospital in Kolkata that aims to provide the highest quality services to all sections of society. To schedule an appointment, contact our medical team now.



The mission of Netralayam is to provide tertiary level superspeciality eye care service of highest quality to all sections of the society through a team of competent, committed and compassionate professionals in a patient-friendly environment.

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