Diabetes And Your Eyes - Here's What You Need to Know

Your glucose levels affect your entire body, including your eyes. Managing your diabetes correctly is key to seeing clearly. Believe it or not, but blurry vision is often one of the first visible symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, a chronic metabolic disorder where your pancreas either isn’t making enough insulin (the hormone regulating the movement of sugar to the cells) to help your body metabolize sugar, or the insulin that is produced isn’t working as it should. As such, the fuel that keeps us energized (sugar), builds up in the bloodstream instead of flowing to power your vital organs. Diabetics must properly balance their sugar levels in order to live a long and enjoyable life. As such, if your vision starts to blur, it’s a good idea to get checked out by a doctor and determine whether type 2 diabetes or some other pathology is the cause. And if you have already been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the onset of blurry vision is a good indicator that it’s time for a check-up and possible treatment plan adjustment.

How type 2 diabetes causes blurry vision

Blurry vision can result from short and long-term complications of diabetes. Long-term complications typically indicate retinal blood vessel damage (proliferative retinopathy) due to prolonged unbalanced glucose levels. Treatment will help slow the blurriness’ deterioration but unfortunately will not reverse these complications. Short-term complications are often linked to unbalanced blood sugar levels (low or high). The blurriness itself is a symptom of how the glucose buildup is affecting your brain and causing fluid to move in and out of your eye, causing swelling (macular edema), without actually changing the eye itself. This form of blurry vision is temporary and usually resolves once your glucose levels are balanced and your diabetes is back under control. Want to learn more about how to balance your glucose levels? Check out this blog post.

Treating eye complications of type 2 diabetes

For people with diabetes, regular eye check-ups are crucial, as they can help identify potential complications, before symptoms even appear, enabling you to receive treatment before permanent, irreversible damage is caused. If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes-related eye complications, you should talk to your doctor about taking the following measures to manage your blood sugar levels and protect your eyesight:
  • Dietary changes - Include plenty of vitamin C and fatty fish in your diet, and make sure you’re eating the right foods, at the right times, to control your type 2 diabetes.
  • Modifying your medication(s) - Sometimes, a spike in insulin, or changing when you take your meds is responsible for blurry vision, and should be examined to see if this is the cause.
  • Adapting your exercise regimen - Help prevent glucose buildup in your bloodstream by engaging in regular exercise.
And, of course, if any medical interventions are needed to treat blurry vision, such as steroid drops, injections, or surgery, you should always remind the doctor of your type 2 diabetes diagnosis to ensure the treatment is still recommended.