How Does Diabetes Affect the Eyes?

How Does Diabetes Affect the Eyes?

How Does Diabetes Affect the Eyes?

How Does Diabetes Affect the Eyes?

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your body is unable to utilize glucose and convert it into energy. It interferes with your body’s ability to respond to or produce insulin. The result is damage to nerves and blood vessels throughout your body, including the eyes. In this scenario, you may experience one or more problems relating to your vision.

Some complications include:


Retinal Detachment

Retinopathy is among the leading causes of blindness in adults. It occurs when high blood sugar damages the vessels in your retina. They will leak, swell, or completely stop the blood flow, hampering your vision. New blood vessels may grow after, but they are not usual and may exacerbate your condition. In most cases, diabetic retinopathy affects the vision in both eyes.


Blurry Vision

It is advisable not to go for prescription glasses immediately after you notice blurry vision. Diabetes can hamper your vision by causing the lenses in your eyes to swell. A consultation with a doctor may conclude that it is an issue with high blood sugar.

Ideal blood sugar levels before meals should range between 70 to 130 milligrams per deciliter. Between one to two hours after eating, the figure changes to 180 milligrams per deciliter. Treatment for this condition requires you to change your diet to foods with less sugar.


Pressure in the Eyes

Diabetes puts you at a greater risk of developing several types of glaucoma. The disease is a result of a buildup of pressure in your eyes. Your eyes contain a liquid that needs occasional draining. Not doing so brings about this symptom.

Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of this disease, whose treatment is through medication. The doctor may recommend surgery or laser treatments to lower the pressure in your eyes.

Other symptoms of this condition may include:


  • Halos around lights

  • Headaches

  • Blurry vision

  • Eye pain

  • Watery eyes

  • Complete vision loss

Rare eye conditions like neovascular glaucoma also come with diabetes. The disease causes new blood vessels to grow on your iris. These hamper the flow of fluid, raising the pressure in your eyes. Treatment involves reversing this process through laser therapy or anti-VGF injections.


Cloudy Eye Lenses

The lenses of your eyes, like a camera, allow you to focus on images. Any smudge or dirt on the lens indicates the growth of cataracts. Anyone can get this disease, though it is more common in people with diabetes. The illness increases your chances of developing cataracts earlier. It also exacerbates it faster. Treatment of this condition is solely through surgery. Your eye doctor will replace the cloudy lens with a synthetic one.



November is the month dedicated to promoting awareness of diabetic eye disease. Many people do not understand that this illness can affect them without their knowledge. Early detection and treatment of this disease reduce the risks of permanent damage.

Follow your doctor’s recommendation when on diet and exercise. It helps regulate your weight. Refrain from unhealthy habits like smoking that may increase your chances of developing diabetic eye diseases.

For more on how diabetes affects your eyes, visit 20/20 EyeVenue at our Westminster or Strasburg, Colorado office. Call (720) 740-0400 to schedule an appointment today.

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