Eye Problems In Diabetics

Diabetes is a state of uncontrolled blood sugar in the blood stream. This affect almost all parts of the body. All tissues are affected, both functionally and structural, to some extent.

Common Eye problems Detected in Diabetics

  • Progressive vision loss
  • Sudden loss of vision
  • Having floaters in the eye
  • Double vision
  • Frequent Stye
  • Eye infections
  • Drooping eyes

Affect of Uncontrolled Blood Sugar on Eyes

High blood sugar levels affect the blood vessels of the eyes. The inner walls of the tiny vessels supplying the eye tissue are affected. These tiny vessels may get partially or completely blocked.

This would mean that the eye tissue is unable to receive enough oxygen and food needed for proper functioning.

This stage is called ischemia.

The blocked blood vessels may swell up and ooze out some fluid. This fluid gets collected in the different eye tissues.

Macula is most sensitive part of the retina, responsible for color vision. Oozing of fluid may lead to swelling of the macula.

This stage is called edema. Macular edema may cause sudden loss of vision. In fact, this is the commonest reason of vision loss in diabetics.

Cause of Progressive Vision Deterioration in Diabetics

The reason is prolonged ischemia, as explained above. The eye tissue are deprived of oxygen and essential nutrients. This affects their functioning and hence the vision of a person.

If not controlled, vision keeps on deteriorating, eventually leading to near blind conditions.

Sudden Vision Loss

It’s not uncommon to see someone losing his vision suddenly. In diabetics, such an event may occur due to edema or swelling of the macular tissue.

Color vision is affected first.

How do You Get Floaters in Diabetes?

Floaters are small specks, may be black or grey, you see in your field of vision. They disturb the over all vision of a person.

Floaters may be seen in advanced cases of diabetes. As discussed above, the affected blood vessels start occluding partially or completely in diabetics. So, the eye tissue in deprived of oxygen and essential nutrients.

In an attempt to compensate, the retinal tissue makes newer blood vessels to supply its own self. This process is called neovascularization.

These newer vessels are fragile, and may sometimes break in the tissue they supply. This is a kind of internal hemorrhage, leaking blood in the inner gel like eye tissue.

This leaked blood may give you dark colored floaters.

How Diabetes Cause You Seeing Double?

Double vision, or diplopia, may be attributed to damage to the nerves controlling the eye muscles.

Our eyes are essentially controlled by six pairs of muscles, which connect the eye ball to the inner bony parts.

These muscles are responsible in moving both the eye balls in a co ordinated manner.

When we see an object with both the eye, extreme co ordination is required among the two eyes, in order to see a single object precisely.

This is accomplished by precise contractions of eye muscles. A little loss of co ordination would make you see two objects instead of one, one image produced by each of the eye.

Another common symptom caused by damage to eye nerves is drooping of the eyes. This is again because of partial muscle paralysis of the eye muscles, caused due to nerve damage.

Diabetes Giving More of Styes and Infections

You may note more incidences of all kinds of infections in diabetics. Frequently, they may get infection in their conjunctiva or a stye on their eye lid.

The eye may appear red to pink in color. There may be some pain or leakage of fluid from it. These may be signs of infection. Antibiotics may be needed.

The cause is lower immune power in diabetics. High blood sugar affect the immune system adversely, affecting its functioning.


Keeping your blood sugar levels under control is the key point in management. This would slow down all damages to a considerable extent.

Keep your Hb A1 C levels as low as possible. This is the target.

Any eye problem should be properly evaluated and managed by a specialist ophthalmologist only. Care and treatment may control and even reverse most of the cases.

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