Diabetes and Vision: 4 Ways Blood Sugar Affects the Eyes

  • By:Dr. Katie Dugan

A diabetes diagnosis not only affects your dietary choices and medications, but blood sugar instability can have a domino effect on many aspects of your health. As the occurrence of diabetes is growing in the United States, so is the risk of blindness. It’s been found that diabetes is the top cause of blindness for adults in our country. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, then it is important that you schedule regular visits with an experienced eye doctor.

How Diabetes Can Affect the Eyes

High blood sugar can lead to a variety of eye problems. But these eye diseases can be slowed or prevented when treatment is available in the early stages of the disease progression. Here are some of the common eye problems that are associated with diabetes:

  1. Blurred Vision: High blood sugar levels can cause the eye lens to swell, which might blur your vision. If things are looking a bit blurry, then it is important to keep your blood sugar in the target range. Some people experience vision improvements within 2 to 3 months of blood sugar management.
  2. Diabetic Retinopathy: The small blood vessels in the back of the eye can be damaged by high blood sugar levels. When the retina is damaged, it affects the way light is taken in and sent to the brain.
  3. Glaucoma: If you are diabetic, then there is a greater likelihood of having glaucoma. As a result, vision can be affected.
  4. Cataracts: Did you know that diabetes increases the risk of cataract development? The lens of the eye can become clouded, making you feel like you are looking through a smudged window all day. People with diabetes tend to get cataracts earlier in life, and the progression of the disease is faster than that of non-diabetic patients.

All of these eye diseases can be slowed if you are proactive about managing your blood sugar levels. The most important thing you can do is work with your physician as well as an experienced optometrist to protect your health and vision. Call us to schedule an exam: you can reach our Temecula office at (951) 302-1331 or the Murrieta office at (951) 600-9226.

Posted in: Eye Diseases