Diabetes and Its Effects On Our Eyes

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that causes various medical issues relating to the eyes. The usual symptoms of diabetes-related eye problems include:

  • Blurred or distorted vision
  • Dark shapes or floaters
  • Dark or empty area in your vision
  • Trouble seeing colors properly
  • Complete vision loss

All these symptoms are associated with various diabetes-related diseases. Read on to learn what eye diseases are prone to diabetic patients.

Common diseases diabetic patients
can get

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when capillaries in your eyes get weakened and swollen due to high blood sugar levels. This causes poor blood circulation at the back of the eye, which induces the formation of additional warped blood vessels, which oozes blood and other fluids. Over time, it leads to scarred tissue, retinal detachment, and blindness. Fortunately, it can be treated with surgical methods.

Diabetic Macular Edema

Diabetic macular edema occurs when the macula – a part of the retina that offers vision clarity – gets affected by diabetes. In this problem, blood vessels swell and leak. Diabetic macular edema can cause blurred or distorted vision or complete vision loss if not treated promptly.


A cataract is a common disease among aging people. But as per studies, people who have diabetes are more at risk of cataracts than non-diabetic individuals and can get it earlier in life. Diabetes can cause a cataract to form earlier and spread more quickly due to the high sugar level present in the vessels. Fortunately, this can be fixed with cataract surgery.


Glaucoma is a series of eye diseases that damages optical nerves. This disease often goes unnoticed until significant damage has been done because it first affects peripheral vision. Therefore, you should routinely get your eyes checked.

Proliferative Retinopathy

New blood vessels start forming when cells at the back of your eyes don’t get enough oxygen. Since these newly formed vessels are delicate, they bleed and cause a clot. This can tear your retina away from the back of your eyes. It may cause blindness, but sometimes it is treatable at early stages.

Blurry Vision

Blurry vision can be caused by high sugar levels in your blood vessels. If you experience this, don’t buy vision glasses right away. Instead, get your eyes checked. Your vision will likely come to normal once your sugar level becomes normal.

Tips for preventing diabetic eye diseases

All the diabetic eye diseases mentioned above can be prevented if you take proper care and follow these tips:

Regular eye checkup

Get your eyes checked at least once a year so your eye doctor can diagnose any problem at an earlier stage when it is most treatable.

Keep blood sugar levels in the target range.

Make sure your blood sugar stays within the target range to avoid any risk associated with diabetes.

Keep blood pressure and cholesterol level in check

Keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol level is good for preventing eye diseases and benefits your health in general.

Avoid sun exposure

Sun’s harmful UV rays can speed up the progression of cataracts. So, avoid prolonged sun exposure and wear sunglasses whenever you go out.

Quit smoking & alcohol

Quitting alcohol and smoking lowers your risk of eye disease and benefits you in many other ways.

Get active

Make sure you have an active lifestyle. Do exercise every day to protect your eyes and manage your diabetes.


Diabetes is associated with various eye diseases. But fortunately, all these ailments can be prevented with the proper knowledge, timely diagnosis, and preventive measures. Make sure you get regular checkups and keep your sugar level regulated to be on the safe side.