Vision and Diabetes

Diabetes not only affects blood sugar levels – it may also increase your risk of other health problems including vision problems and vision loss. Yearly dilated eye exams play an important role in the management of your diabetes.

Blood Sugar Fluctuations

As blood sugar levels rise and fall, fluid moves in and out of the natural lens of your eye. These fluctuations cause the shape of your natural lens to change, resulting in blurry vision. Once blood sugar levels stabilize, the blurry vision should resolve as well but it may not. With any change in your vision, it is important to contact our office and schedule an exam to ensure that something more serious is not occurring.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy causes changes to the retina (think of the retina like the film in the camera). The retina and its blood vessels can become damaged affecting vision. Individuals with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes can develop diabetic retinopathy. Poorly controlled blood sugar levels make individuals more susceptible to developing this complication of diabetes.

You can have diabetic retinopathy and NOT experience any symptoms. Therefore, yearly dilated eye exams are an important part of your diabetes management. Early detection is key to prevent vision loss.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, it is important to see us or your optometrist/ophthalmologist as soon as possible:

Spots, like flecks of pepper, or Strings floating in your vision (floaters)

Blurry Vision

Vision that fluctuates between blurry and clear

Blank or black areas in your field of vision

Poor night vision

Changes in colors – faded or not as clear

2 Forms of Diabetic Retinopathy

There are 2 forms of diabetic retinopathy that we will explore in our next blog post: Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy and Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy.

To schedule an appointment, call 919-282-1100.

Life is beautiful, see it clearly!