Eye Problems and Diabetes

By Medically reviewed by Hello Doktor Medical Panel

High blood sugar levels can lead to eye problems like blurry vision, retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma. People with diabetes should plan to make regular eye doctor visits.

Blurry Vision

Blurry vision is a common eye problem in people with diabetes The lens could swell, which changes the ability to see when their blood sugar level is high. To correct this condition, patients need to get their blood sugar back into the target range. It may take 3 months for the vision to get back to normal.


People with diabetes are 40% more likely to develop glaucoma than those without diabetes. Risks also increase coming with age.

Glaucoma happens when pressure builds up inside the eye and fluid cannot drain as it should. This can cause damage to blood vessels, optic nerves, and even lead to vision loss.

At the early stage, many people with glaucoma may not have any symptoms until it causes major vision damage such as Headaches, Eye aches, Blurred vision, Halos around lights, Watery eyes.

The most common form of glaucoma is open-angle glaucoma.  Medications can treat this type of glaucoma by lowering eye pressure and speeding up the drainage.


The lens of the eye helps us to see and focus on an image. Cataracts cloud this normally clear lens and make all the images you see blurred. Anyone can get cataracts, but people with diabetes are 60% more likely to get this eye condition. People with diabetes tend to develop cataracts at a younger age, and the condition gets worse faster.

With mild cataracts, you could use glasses, contact lenses or other visual aids to improve your vision. If cataracts become a problem in your daily life and the use of glasses or contacts does not better your vision, surgery will be the only effective treatment for cataracts. Doctors will remove the lens of the eye and replace with artificial ones.

Diabetic retinopathy

High blood sugar levels can damage small blood vessels in your retina and cause diabetic retinopathy. The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely he/she is to suffer from it. People with diabetes will lower their chances if they keep their blood sugar under control.

Diabetic retinopathy seldom develops before puberty in people with type 1 diabetes. In adults, patients rarely develop this eye condition unless they have had type 1 diabetes for at least five years.

To prevent eye problems, people with diabetes should put their blood sugar and blood pressure under control, quit smoking and improve overall health.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Review Date: June 1, 2017 | Last Modified: December 3, 2019

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