How Diabetes Affects Your Eyes

Nowadays, diabetes is becoming more prevalent in the United States. According to some estimates, there are more than 30 million Americans over the age of 18 with diabetes, both undiagnosed and diagnosed. This is roughly 30 percent of the population in that demographic. 

The effects of diabetes are more disastrous than most people realize. Are you a diabetic? If so, you need to know that your condition can affect your eyes. Thus, as a diabetic, go for regular eye exams.  


How Can Diabetes Affect Your Eyes?

Diabetes can cause vision problems and a wide range of eye conditions. Diabetic eye disease is a term referring to various eye conditions that can develop in people with diabetes. Over time, diabetes can lead to blindness. Fortunately, you can take certain steps to prevent eye and vision problems or keep them from worsening. 

Some of the ways in which diabetes can affect your eyes include:


Blurry Vision

This condition can cause blurry vision. However, if you have diabetes and begin to experience blurry vision, you do not need to rush out and buy new eyeglasses or contact lenses. This is because your blurry vision could stem from high blood sugar, which could cause your lens to swell and affect your ability to see. 


Diabetic Retinopathy

This is one of the leading causes of vision loss in the United States. This condition results from changes in the retinal blood vessels. The retina consists of a group of cells located at the back of the eye. Their purpose is to take in light and turn it into images that the optic nerve transmits to the brain.

Damage to the tiny retinal blood vessels can cause diabetic retinopathy, another eye condition related to high blood pressure. The longer you live with diabetes, the more likely you are to develop this condition.


Macular Edema

The macula is the center of the retina, which provides straight and clear vision. Diabetes can lead to leaky blood vessels that cause the macula to swell. This can lead to distorted or blurred vision.



The internal lens of the eye allows it to see and focus on images. This is the same way a camera’s lens works. When your lens gets cloudy, like a smudged or dirty window, it may be a sign of a cataract formation. Anyone can get cataracts. However, diabetics tend to develop them earlier. They also worsen faster. 



Diabetes causes one form of glaucoma, known as neovascular glaucoma. As a diabetic, your high blood sugar levels can damage your retinal blood vessels. This can lead to the formation of abnormal blood vessels, which grow on the iris. This can cause a significant increase in eye pressure and the development of glaucoma. 



This condition develops when diabetes starts and continues to affect the macula. Fortunately, the resulting swelling is easily reversible in the earlier stages. Left unaddressed, this condition can be quite serious and more difficult to treat. 


How to Prevent Diabetes From Affecting Your Eyes

As a diabetic, you need to undergo annual eye examinations. This will help your eye doctor detect possible eye problems early and start treatment when they are easier to treat. It is vital to understand that regular eye exams can save your vision.

To learn more about the effects of diabetes on the eyes, visit Advanced Vision Institute at our offices in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can call (702) 819-9800 today to schedule an appointment.

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