Hey There, Sugar: Diabetes Affects Your Eyes
Being diabetic comes with a whole list of potential health complications, including issues with your eye health and vision. The longer you have diabetes (type 1 or 2), and if you have trouble regulating your blood sugar levels, the higher your risk is for some eye diseases.
The best way to protect your visual health is to have an optometrist examine your eyes. Regular diabetic eye exams include additional non-invasive tests to help you maintain your vision for a lifetime.
The Unsavoury Truth: How Blood Sugar Affects Your Eyes
Our optometrists will test your vision and the health of your eyes during your diabetic eye exam. We will use retinal imaging and an OCT scan alongside a pupil dilation to see all that we can see inside your eye.
If we see any signs or symptoms of diabetic eye diseases, we can recommend a course of action to help you preserve your visual health and sight. Diabetic eye diseases and damage from high blood sugar often don’t cause any symptoms at first, so an exam is essential to diagnose them early for treatment.
High blood sugar can lead to several eye health concerns and diseases. Learn what they are, and how to identify symptoms below.
The blood vessels in your eyes can be damaged by high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar restricts blood flow to your eyes, causing the small blood vessels to leak, swell, and close, resulting in diabetic retinopathy. If this happens, abnormal blood vessels can begin to form, causing further issues.
Also related to the blood vessels in your eyes, diabetic macular edema can be caused by prolonged diabetic retinopathy.
Fluid buildup in your eye can cause your macula—responsible for clear central vision—to swell, causing wavy or blurry central vision.
Diabetes can cause the pressure inside of your eyes to rise, which could put you at a higher risk of glaucoma. At first, glaucoma may not present any symptoms, but it does impact your vision over time, typically starting at the peripheral edges and moving inward. Vision loss from glaucoma cannot be reversed, but its progression can often be slowed with medicated eye drops.
People with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts at a younger age. Cataracts cause the lens in your eye to become cloudy. Your optometrist will be able to prescribe stronger glasses to help you see with cataracts, but eventually, you may need cataract surgery to remove the cloudiness.
Protecting Your Vision
People with diabetes should have their eyes checked every year, and if they notice any new vision symptoms, they should visit their optometrist for a health check right away.
Regular eye exams can also detect early signs of diabetes if you haven’t already been diagnosed by your family doctor.
Our optometrists will try to mitigate any harmful effects of eye disease with early treatment to prevent further damage to your eyes. If you are concerned about the health of your eyes, book an appointment to speak to your optometrist.
Find us in the red brick building on the corner of Frank St. and Albert St. Parking is available just outside our door.
- 22 Frank St
- Strathroy, ON N7G 3X3
- Phone: 519-245-2000
- Email: [email protected]
- Monday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Tuesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Wednesday: 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
- Thursday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Saturday: Closed
- Sunday: Closed