How Diabetes Affects Eye Health

Most people know that diabetes can have a major effect on your sugar levels, kidney, and heart, but even many diabetics don’t know the impact it can have your eyes and vision.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a relatively common disease that affects the body’s ability to produce or respond to insulin, a hormone produced by your pancreas. As a result, diabetics tend to have high levels of glucose (sugar) in their blood and urine.

  • Type 1 diabetes: A condition in which the pancreas produces little to no insulin.
  • Type 2 diabetes: A condition that affects the way your body processes blood sugar.

Diabetes and Your Eyes

As the leading cause of new vision loss among adults age 20 – 75, diabetes can have a major effect on a person’s vision.

People with diabetes:

  • Are 60 percent more likely to develop cataracts.
  • Are more likely to develop cataracts at a young age.
  • Typically have a faster progression of cataracts.

Protecting Your Eyes and Vision

Thankfully, roughly 90 percent of diabetes-related illnesses are treatable. Studies show that people who get regular eye exams are more likely to avoid serious problems, brought on by diabetes because doctors are able to catch and treat many diseases at an early stage.

If you have diabetes, you can keep your vision and overall health in tip-top shape by:

  • Keeping your blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible at all times.
  • Keeping an eye out for high blood pressure.
  • Getting annual eye exams.
  • Reaching out to your doctor or optometrist the moment you suspect something is wrong with your health.