Diabetes is a widespread and chronic health condition affecting millions of people worldwide. What’s well known is its impact on blood sugar levels and the body’s ability to metabolise sugar. What’s less well known is how diabetes can also affect various other body parts, especially the eyes.
Blurred vision is a common eye concern for individuals with diabetes. In this blog post, we are going to answer questions you may have about diabetes and blurred vision, what it feels like, and how it can be treated.
What causes blurred vision in diabetics?
Blurred vision from diabetes is an unsettling experience. The sensation is often described as a lack of sharpness in vision. It makes it challenging to focus on objects or read text. Some people with diabetes may also experience distorted or wavy vision, which can be quite distressing.
Diabetes can lead to changes in the blood vessels of the eyes, specifically the tiny blood vessels in the retina. These changes can disrupt the normal flow of blood and nutrients to the retina. This causes blood vessels to weaken, leak, or even close off entirely leading to blurred vision and other problems.
The macula, the centre of the retina, is particularly susceptible to these changes. When affected, it can result in a condition called diabetic macular oedema, which further contributes to blurred vision.
What are the signs that diabetes is affecting your eyes?
Diabetes can impact the eyes in various ways. Several signs can indicate diabetic eye disease or other eye conditions related to diabetes. It is crucial to be vigilant and seek medical attention if you experience any of the following:
1) Blurred Vision
Blurry or wavy vision is one of the most common signs that diabetes is affecting your eyes. It may come and go or become worse if left untreated.
2) Floaters and Flashes
Diabetes can lead to the development of floaters. These are tiny specks or spots that seem to float across your field of vision. Flashes of light can also occur, which may be a sign of a retinal tear or detachment.
3) Vision Problems
Diabetes can cause difficulty seeing fine details, loss of sharp vision, and even double vision.
4) Eye Pressure
High blood pressure levels in people with diabetes can lead to increased eye pressure. This is also a sign of glaucoma.
5) Blood in the Eye
The presence of blood in the eye (vitreous haemorrhage) can be a sign of severe diabetic retinopathy. It is a condition characterised by the damage of blood vessels in the retina.
6) Changes in Colour Vision
Some people with diabetes may notice changes in their colour vision. They can perceive colours differently or have difficulty distinguishing between them.
It is crucial to remember that these signs may only sometimes be present. Some people with diabetes-related eye conditions may not experience any noticeable symptoms. Hence, regular eye exams are essential for early detection and intervention. Use our symptom checker to find out what eye condition you might be suffering from.
Does blurry vision from diabetes go away?
The answer is somewhat complex, as it depends on two factors:
Blood Sugar Control
If you can maintain your blood sugar levels within the recommended range, there is a higher chance of the blurriness gradually subsiding.
Regular eye exams are essential for people with diabetes. This helps detect any eye issues in their early stages. Thus, allowing for timely treatment and preventing further vision loss.
Can eyesight improve after a diabetes diagnosis?
This is a primary concern for many individuals. The degree of improvement that can be achieved depends on:
- The stage of the eye disease
- The effectiveness of treatment
- An individual’s ability to manage their diabetes
While improvement is possible, it may not always be complete. And some degree of vision impairment may persist.
Diabetes and other eye diseases
Diabetes can also increase the risk of other eye diseases, such as glaucoma and cataracts. These conditions can contribute to vision impairment if left untreated.
The impact of diabetes on vision can vary from person to person. While blurred vision from diabetes can be distressing, it is not necessarily permanent. The key to preserving and improving eyesight lies in early detection and intervention. Be aware of the signs that diabetes may be affecting your vision. Regular eye exams are essential in preventing further vision loss and even blindness.
Diabetes-related eye complications are manageable but individuals with diabetes should prioritise their eye health. Work closely with your healthcare professionals to manage your diabetes and protect your vision.