How is diabetes affecting your eyes?

diabetes affecting your eyes
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Diabetes is often an underscored condition. Perhaps due to its high prevalence, it often does not get taken as seriously as it should be otherwise. Of course, if does not mean that diabetics start stressing over their disease, however, everyone suffering from it or on the borderline should be aware of the risks that await them.

Most of the times, the potential problems that come from diabetes are result of uncontrolled state of the disease. Moreover, the biggest danger imposed by this condition are the secondary risk factors.

With most of the conditions, the focus more on the organ malfunctioning. For example, with heart disease, one just has to cater to variables that affect heart alone. Diabetes on the other hand, wreaks havoc on the entire body.

Almost all vital organs like kidneys, liver, heart and the vascular system is endangered due to uncontrolled diabetes. The risks of other diseases and even death are multiplied in diabetics who do not look after their health. One such case is of eye diseases.

The effects of diabetes on the eyes

Since the body is unable to moderate its blood sugar levels, it has an adverse impact on the eyes. Following are some of the eye conditions and disease that are caused by diabetes:

Blurry Vision

Due to the imbalance in the blood sugar level, one can suffer from blurred vision. When there is too much sugar in the blood, the tissues in the eyes swell. This in turn leads to inability to focus and thus causes blurry vision in the short term. In fact, so many people think they need glasses, but it is just the high BSL.

One way to diagnose hyperglycemic eye problem from vision problem is that it is accompanied with weakness and frequent urination. Otherwise, it might be some eye-vision problem. In the long term, the damage is much worse. Hence, it is best to visit an eye-specialist facility like Hashmanis Hospital early on in the disease to prevent further damage.


Due to the damage done by the increased BSL on the blood vessels and the nerve, the fluid in the eyes cannot be drained properly. It then causes pressure to build up inside of the eyes. Patients suffering from glaucoma also suffer from vision problems.

Other symptoms of glaucoma include digestive problems like nausea, reddening in the eyes due to leaked blood, tunnel vision etc. There are different types of glaucoma, and the treatment varies accordingly.


While this condition is not exclusive to the diabetics, however, the chances of getting cataracts are higher in the diabetics. Essentially, in cataracts, the lenses of the eyes become cloudy and thus vision gets compromised.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Again, due to the high blood sugar level in the case of uncontrolled diabetics, retina gets damaged in the process, leading to set of problems, known as diabetic retinopathy.  If this condition is not remedied in time, it can also lead to blindness in eventuality.

In early type of diabetic retinopathy, also known as nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy, the high BSL levels leads to blood vessels getting damaged. The fluid then gets leaked into the eyes and hence the retina. Retina then starts swelling, leading to vision problems of all sorts. When the macular in the retina gets swollen, the vision gets blurry and discolored, leading to the condition known as macular edema.

In another type of DR, known as proliferative retinopathy, the vessels get damaged to the point that they close off. Their replacement weaker blood vessels may leak fluid in the eyes and may also then raise the pressure in the eye to a dangerous extent or scarring in the eyes. In the worst case, the retina can get detached, leading to permanent loss in the vision.

However, if your blood sugar levels are controlled, it is very likely that you will not suffer from diabetic retinopathy. It is thus very important to have a good diabetologist like Dr. Nauman Niaz on board, to help control the BSL, as the stakes otherwise are great.