Diabetes And The Health Of Your Eyes

Health & Medical Blog

If you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes, you are likely still learning much about this disease. You need to be aware that diabetes does affect your eyes and can do so in ways that can mean a loss of vision. Early detection by your eye doctor is important to begin treatment and prevent serious eye problems. Here are the common ways in which diabetes can impact your vision.


Your eyeball is filled with a gel-like substance, called vitreous humor. It maintains a constant pressure in the eye to keep its shape. This gel is constantly being replenished as old gel escapes through tiny pores in the eye.

Diabetes causes this gel to build up in the eyeball, increasing the pressure within. The increase is subtle and you may not notice it until you start having vision problems. The pressure increase disrupts the blood flow in the eye and if severe enough, can damage the retina. If you do have early symptoms of glaucoma, your vision will become blurry and you'll see halos around bright lights.

When this pressure increase is detected during a diabetic eye exam, your doctor can administer eye drops to reduce the fluid build up. Should the pressure become severe, surgery is available to drain fluid from the eye before damage to the retina occurs.


Your eyes produce proteins in the lens to protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays. Diabetes causes an excess of those proteins, which results in cataracts. As the proteins accumulate, they block the light from entering your eye. You'll find that you need more light to read and objects will begin to look dim in normal lighting. Your vision will also become blurry as the cataracts advance.

This process can't be stopped, but when the cataracts become too disruptive of your vision, they can be removed. The entire lens is removed and replace with an artificial lens. This man-made lens may correct your vision slightly and they are impervious to future cataracts.

Diabetic Retinopathy

This is a dangerous condition which can result in partial or total blindness. Diabetes causes the blood vessels in your eye to leak fluid out onto the surface of the retina. This fluid accumulates and restricts the light from hitting the retina. You'll begin to see shadows and dark areas across your vision. As the disease progresses, new blood vessels form on the back of the eye which are weak and create scar tissue. The scar tissue can pull on the retina and detach it from the eye, causing blindness.

During your diabetic eye exam, your eye doctor will look for these weak and leaking blood vessels. Medication and laser surgery may be used to stop the fluid leak and get rid of the blood vessels before they produce scars that are dangerous to the retina.   


29 March 2016

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