Diabetes and vision problems – take care of your eyes!

Diabetes and vision problems

Over time diabetes can cause a whole range of complications that affect the body. Diabetes and vision problems are one of the more common problems that a diabetic may experience in his or her lifetime.

The bottom line is that diabetes and vision problems can be serious, so serious in fact that many of the well-known eye issues such as diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edma,cataracts and glaucoma can cause permanent blindness.

Diabetes and the eyes

The best way to avoid diabetes and vision problems

As with all complications associated with having type 1 or type 2 diabetes your best form of defence if offence, namely getting on the front foot to ensure that your blood sugar levels are very well managed. The formula is very simple, the better you manage your blood sugar levels the less problems you will run into later in life and the more you can live a normal, happy, healthy life.

The bottom line is that you have no excuses for not doing your level best to monitor your blood sugar at all times of the day, while keeping a good regime of proper diet and exercise.

Blurry vision can be one of the first signs that you have diabetes

There are many symptoms that are tell-tale signs that you have got diabetes. Unfortunately when I was first diagnosed with the condition I did not know anything about the warning signs. I had no idea about why I was losing weight or going to the toilet a lot. One problem I did not really experience was blurry vision, but I know that it is a common sign of hyperglycemia.

When sugar builds up in your body it results in many different symptoms for many different people. Blurry vision can happen when fluid leaks into the lens of the eye. This can cause swelling and even cause the lens to change shape. Obviously this condition makes it very hard for your eyes to focus.

For a type 1 diabetic, you may also experience blurred vision when you begin taking insulin. This is due to the fluids in the eye shifting and changing shape for the better. Often this will be a symptom that will only last a few weeks.

My advice to diabetics

In nearly all of my blog posts you will find me talking about getting regular check-ups with diabetes experts. This extends to getting regular eye exams. I try to make sure that I am booked in for 1 eye appointment every year. The test I go for is not only quick and painless; it is also free so I have no excuses for not going. I would highly recommend all readers of this blog book themselves in for at least 1 eye exam every year.

The alternative to being lazy and not having your eyes checked regularly is potentially a lifetime of darkness. When I sum it up like that I hope that many of you are inspired  to go for a check-up ASAP especially if you have not been for one in a while.

Another stat to inspire youDiabetes and vision problems

This is the best statistic I can give you when it comes to the early detection of diabetes and vision problems. In over 90% of cases of diabetes and vision problem, the risk of blindness falls if the problem is detected early.

What an eye doctor can check for

A professional eye exam will soon tell you if you have anything to worry about when it comes to diabetes and the eyes. The list of issues an eye doctor will check for include –

  • Changes in the blood vessels including leakage built up from fatty deposits
  • Any issues with your lenses
  • Damage to nerve tissues
  • Swollen maculas

Diabetic retinopathy

Continued blurry vision means you need to take action now!

There are many retinal problems caused by diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy is a very common problem. This condition can be treatable, but in some instances it is not. When your diabetes is poorly managed you may experience a sugar build up at the back of the eye which puts pressure on the retinal blood vessels which causes them to bleed or leak. Any signs of blurry vision may be an early sign of diabetic retinopathy.

Glaucoma is a disease that effects diabetics 2-5 more times than non-diabetics. This happens when pressure build up in your eye damages the optic nerve.

Keep a watch for

  • Loss of vision or loss of peripheral vision
  • Persistent reddening of the eyes
  • Pain in your eyes especially sensitivity to light.
  • Unusual lights or blurred patches in your vision
  • Faded colours
  • Double vision

Quite often many of the symptoms/ conditions can be treated. There is always new research and treatments going on when it comes to treating people’s eyes. You will save yourself a lot of heart ache and financial costs if you choose to stay on top of the problem and take action by getting a check up once a year.


Although diabetes vision problems usually strike later in life they can still impact young diabetics at any time. Blurry vision can often be the first sign of type 1 or type 2 diabetes but if ongoing problems are not quickly assessed and treated it can lead to bigger problems down the line, in particular permanent blindness.

Diabetes vision problems are such a serious issue that face diabetics across the globe that I have written a previous blog post about it and will most likely continue to do so well into the future. Please see my earlier blog post on diabetes and the eyes

If managing your type 2 diabetes is not going as well as you would like and you are looking for some motivation and inspiration especially in terms of new, healthy tasty recipes written by a diabetic 5 star chef then please see this earlier post I made.

Please reach out to me below if you are having eye problems or if you know anyone that has had diabetes eye problems.

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  1. Julie

    Great article. I once worked in an optometrist’s office and I saw many people who were struggling with this condition. There definitely needs to be more information like this out there because many people living with diabetes don’t know that their eyes and their vision can be severely affected by the condition. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Ben (Post author)

      Hi Julie. That is scary. Diabetics should be well educated by their doctor. It is a dangerous disease sometimes known as the silent killer as its effects can go on unnoticed for a long time. Diabetes effects the small blood vessels at the back of the eye that is why it is such a common complication. Sometimes an operation is required to control ones blood sugar if their vision is at risk…

  2. Peter

    I’ve always had issues with my eyes, but never have I connected them to diabetes! I’ve also never checked myself with a doctor, but I’m pretty sure I have it because of chronic consumption of sweets ever since I was a kid.

    Do you think there are any other options than visiting a doctor and being prescribed insulin? I’ve read somewhere that diabetes type 2 can be cured with low-carbs diet, although it would have to last for 6 to 12 months which is nearly impossible to pull off for sweets-junkies.

    I’d really stay away from any medical ‘care’ if possible.
    Any insight would be appreciated!

    1. Ben (Post author)

      Peter, in all seriousness, go and get a blood test straight away! Diabetes can kill you if it is left untreated. See a doctor and tell him of your concern. He or she should get you a blood test almost immediately. Check out this article on diabetes nutrition http://healthybloodsugars.com/diabetic-nutrition-c


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