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Diabetes Awareness Health Tips Sensory

Understanding the Impact of Diabetes on Your Eye Health

1 month, 1 week ago

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Posted on Jun 06, 2024, 3 p.m.

Diabetes is a chronic condition that can adversely affect the heart, nerves, and other vital components of the body. The complications associated with diabetes can be life-changing. Even your eyes aren’t safe if you have developed that aforementioned disease.

Many people generally know that diabetes is bad for the eyes, but they may not fully understand the impact it can have. If you or someone you know has diabetes, now is a good time to learn more about that condition’s impact on the eyes. Use this opportunity to determine if you need additional guidance from an optometrist.

Why Is Diabetes Bad for Your Eyes?

To understand how diabetes can affect your vision, it’s worth examining how it impacts the body. An individual with diabetes is likely to have elevated blood sugar levels. Blood sugar is also commonly referred to as glucose or blood glucose.

The excessive amounts of glucose in your bloodstream can start messing with important elements like your nerves and blood vessels. High blood sugar can damage your nerves and blood vessels and cause issues with other organs. Simply put, some of your organs may not function as intended if the nerves or blood vessels they rely on sustain damage.

The eyes are among the organs that may fail to function normally due to the havoc wreaked by diabetes. Early on, the impact of diabetes on your eyesight may be limited to blurry vision. While blurry vision is already quite troublesome, things are unlikely to stay there.

Eventually, you may develop more serious conditions that threaten potential vision loss. Schedule an appointment to have your eyes checked if you are an individual with diabetes who is also experiencing vision issues.

What Conditions Related to Diabetes Can Cause Vision Loss?

Staying on guard against diabetes-related eye conditions that can cause vision loss is critical. Getting to know those conditions better can also be very helpful.

Cataracts are eye problems commonly associated with aging, but diabetes can make you more susceptible to them. You can manage cataracts in their early stages. Surgery is an option if cataracts are giving you too much trouble.

Glaucoma is another eye condition that warrants close monitoring. According to the National Eye Institute, glaucoma results from damage to your optic nerve. Continuous damage to your optic nerve can eventually take your vision away. Similar to cataracts, glaucoma can also be addressed through surgical intervention.

You should also discuss your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy with your eye doctor. With diabetic retinopathy, the issue is mainly related to blood vessels in your retinas. Those issues may include poor blood flow to your eyes, leaking, and the emergence of blood vessels that obstruct your vision.

How Can You Avoid Eye Conditions Related to Diabetes?

Avoiding eye conditions related to diabetes would be ideal. So, how should you go about doing that?

For starters, you need to drop some of your bad habits. Smoking can damage your blood vessels, so cutting that out of your routine is a must. Eating healthily can also prevent any eye conditions you already have from getting worse.

Protecting your eyes should also be your priority. Wear sunglasses whenever you head out during the day to prevent eye damage caused by the sun. You should also wear protective eyewear while engaging in activities that could lead to contact around the head area.

Don’t forget to schedule regular diabetic eye exams. According to MedlinePlus, you should get your eyes checked every one to two years if you have diabetes. More frequent check-ups are likely to be necessary if you have an advanced eye condition. Continue those check-ups because they are critical to the proper management of eye diseases.

This article was written for WHN by Abby Jakob, MD, who is a seasoned ophthalmologist with a passion for eye health and wellness. With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Jakob is dedicated to providing personalized care and expertise to her patients. Through her work at, she aims to educate and empower individuals to take control of their eye health.

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. 

Opinion Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of WHN/A4M. Any content provided by guest authors is of their own opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything.

Content may be edited for style and length.

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