How Does Diabetes Impact Eye Health?

Diabetics, eye health, eye exam

How Does Diabetes Impact Eye Health?

It is no secret that diabetes has become one of the leading causes that trigger blindness around the world. If diabetes is not under control, it can directly impact several aspects of health, especially eye health. Whether it’s Type 1, Type 2 diabetes, or gestational diabetes, all increase the potential risk of eye diseases.

People with diabetes can develop diabetic macular edema, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts. For the sake of simplicity, these diseases fall under the category of diabetic eye disease.

Glaucoma with Diabetes

Diabetes and glaucoma are a dangerous combination and can accelerate vision loss. Usually, people should be aware that fluid in their eyes doesn’t remain for the rest of their lives. Instead, it enters the eye area for a specific period until it is replenished.

But in glaucoma, pressure builds up against your optic nerve and can trigger permanent blindness. Nonetheless, understand that diabetics are highly vulnerable to glaucoma. What’s worse is that symptoms can be invisible, which makes them hard to detect. The best approach for these individuals is to get regular and thorough eye exams.

Macular Edema and Diabetic Retinopathy

In case of high blood sugar, blood acidity also increases. Consequently, it causes severe damage to the blood vessels. In the context of eyes, it creates a severe problem around delicate capillaries that provide nourishment to the retinas.

Once these capillaries start to get weak, they leak blood straight into the eye. And this creates dark floaters or blotches throughout the visual field. When diabetic retinopathy becomes a reality, the body automatically tries to address the issue by growing brand-new blood vessels. However, the new blood vessels probably become unstable and start to leak.

It is vital to note that over 10% of diabetic retinopathy patient cases mutate into DME or diabetic macular edema. In this scenario, the patient builds fluid in his macula, which is the retina area that renders central vision. Ultimately, it creates washed-up colors and distortions that require proper surgical treatment to restore vision.

High Risk of Cataracts in Diabetes

People with diabetes are 5 times more prone to develop cataracts. Typically, high blood sugar makes the eye lenses swell up and collects opaque proteins, which creates cloudy vision.

The good news is that cataract vision loss is reversible through modern and advanced cataract-removal surgery. Surgery is the only option to ensure the effects of cataracts don’t linger permanently.


As a diabetic, having an eye exam ensures the protection of your eyesight. Getting a thorough eye exam becomes even more critical if you live in a polluted and commercialized space. It is the most effective way to get a diagnosis and treatment in the early stages. It ensures there is no long-term or permanent threat of losing eyesight.

Folks with diabetes can reach out to Total Eye Care Billings to get their first or annual eye exam. You can count on professional and seamless patient experience from our eye doctors. We’ve managed to build a highly competent and experienced team for our valued patients.

At Total Eye Care Billings, we provide personalized eye care solutions. We believe in effective and modern treatments. Contact us for more information.