February 12

I have diabetes and my vision is blurred. Is there a connection?

What causes blurred vision in type 2 diabetes?

Blurred vision can be one of the first symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Other symptoms are fatigue, excessive thirst, weight loss, and frequent urination.

Blurred vision in people with type 2 diabetes is caused by high blood sugar. Blood sugar (sorbitol) accumulates in the lens of the eye, as well as other organs. Water enters the lens to balance the sugar, causing the lens of the eye to become swollen. Vision through a swollen lens is blurry.

What can be done about it?

The best remedy for blurred vision in type 2 diabetes is to bring blood sugar levels down to within normal limits. If diabetes is in its early stages and steps are taken to lower blood sugar levels, then vision can return to normal quickly. Buying a new pair of glasses may be an unnecessary and very short-term solution.

How long will it take to see results?

Once blood sugar is controlled, blurred vision can resolve very quickly, in a matter of days or weeks. However, sometimes it can take up to three months after blood sugar is within normal limits for blurred vision due to swollen lenses to resolve.

For one of my patients with type 2 diabetes, her blurry vision resolved in less than four weeks once she started making dietary and lifestyle changes to bring down her blood glucose levels.

If you have type 2 diabetes, it is important that you have your vision checked at least once per year by an eye doctor who treats people with diabetes.

If blood sugar levels are not brought under control in someone with type 2 diabetes, more serious eye complications can develop, such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. These conditions are more difficult to treat and manage, and vision may not return to normal.

Other complications that can arise from uncontrolled blood sugar levels are blindness, heart disease, stroke, neuropathy, and kidney failure.

The best ways to lower blood sugar without the use of medication are exercise and a diet that is low in simple sugars, i.e., sweets and starchy foods.

Some people with type 2 diabetes may require medication to help control their blood sugar levels. Keep in mind that HOW you control blood sugar is not that important. What’s most important is that your blood sugar is under control by whatever means works for you.

Would you like more information or help dealing with diabetes? Send me a message or request an appointment below.

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