Thousands of people suffer from blurred or blurry vision, a problem that should not be neglected, especially when accompanied by headaches, nausea and general fatigue. Blurry vision is also an early sign of diabetes and other eye problems caused due to an increase in blood sugar levels. In fact, according to most ophthalmologists, signs of diabetic retinopathy appear even before you have been diagnosed with diabetes.
Effect of Diabetes on Eyes
When you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you are more likely to have eye problems or blurry vision than someone who is not diabetic. High blood sugar can damage the tiny blood vessels in your eyes over time. This can lead to a condition called diabetic retinopathy. High blood glucose can also lead to cataracts and glaucoma. So, take care of your diabetes, and visit an eye specialist regularly to take care of your eyes.
At some point, almost 1 in 3 people with diabetes have retinopathy damaging the blood vessels in the retina. If you continue to have elevated blood glucose levels over several years, you are at risk for having a more serious illness known as proliferative diabetic retinopathy which can lead to a permanent loss of vision, if left untreated.
Can Diabetes Cause Blurry Vision?
Blurry vision can be caused by short-term and long-term complications of diabetes. Long-term eye problems are related to damage to the blood vessels in the retina of one or both eyes due to high blood sugar levels over many years. These complications are not temporary, although their progression can be slowed down. Short-term blurry vision due to high or low blood sugar levels is temporary and will resolve when blood sugar levels return to normal.
Other Causes of Blurry Vision:
Blurry vision is an early symptom of diabetes and vice versa. The other common causes include:
- Eye problems or conditions like astigmatism, childhood myopia or nearsightedness and cataract;
- Low blood pressure
- Eye injury
- Excessive screen time
How to Protect Your Vision During Diabetes?
- Manage your blood sugar level. Stable glucose levels slow down the damage to the tiny blood vessels that irrigate your eyes and delay the onset of diabetes-related eye problems.
- Consult your ophthalmologist for a thorough eye examination once you are diagnosed with diabetes for the first time, at least once a year thereafter and more often if needed.
- Watch for the warning signs like cloudy or double vision, rings around lights, floating spots, difficulty in seeing straight lines or signs and any other sudden change in your vision.
- Manage diabetes properly. The steps you take to manage your diabetes also help maintain eye health. Follow your diet to the letter, get enough exercise, and take the medications as prescribed.
Many assume that visiting a general practitioner is the only way to diagnose diabetes. However, a thorough eye examination by an ophthalmologist can help in the early detection of diabetes and reduce the risk of eye loss. Early diagnosis can correct the problem or prevent it from getting worse through appropriate treatment at an early stage.