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Diabetes and Eye Health

These days, diabetes is extremely common. A lot of people don't know just how much it can affect patients. For instance, diabetes can easily lead to developing a number of eye-related diseases. These include diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma, plus many other conditions that may worsen the health of the eye, and your vision.

Diabetic retinopathy, which occurs when high blood glucose levels cause harm to the network of blood vessels in the retina. It can also lead to blindness in adults.

Cataracts, which are fairly common in old age, and which lead to vision impairment due to the clouding of the eyeí´s lens, tend to develop earlier in people with diabetes.

Your odds of developing glaucoma, another condition that can seriously deplete your vision, double when you suffer from diabetes. This disease results in optic nerve damage, and this can lead to the worsening of vision. If it isn't properly dealt with, the damage can lead to blindness.

All diabetes sufferers, type 1 or 2, are at increased risk of diabetic eye disease. The risk heightens further if the diabetes isn't properly dealt with. Additional risk factors include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, poor diet and exercise, and smoking.

Due to the nature of the condition, symptoms of diabetic eye diseases usually change when blood sugar levels do. These often include the following:

  • Blurry or distorted vision which is subject to fluctuation
  • Blind spots or floaters
  • Double vision
  • Eye Pain
  • Development of scotoma or a shadow in the field of view
  • Problems with near vision
  • Corneal abrasions

It's really important to know that the onset of diabetic eye disease can occur prior to its symptoms even being noticed.


Detecting the condition while it's still asymptomatic can mean the difference between retaining and losing sight, and is usually a prerequisite for preventing further deterioration of vision and recovery of sight. Because of this, diabetes patients need to have an annual eye exam to monitor their eye health. If you or a loved one have diabetes, it's so important to be sure you are informed about the risks and prevention of diabetic eye disease. A yearly eye exam, and proper preventative measures, can save your vision.