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Can Diabetes Cause Blurred Vision

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Dry Eyes And Screen Use

Why do we get blurred vision with diabetes mellitus

Dry eyes are a common cause of blurriness. One cause of dry eyes is when blinking is reduced over long periods of looking at a screen. Computer workers may notice blurred vision due to dry eyes.

To prevent dry eyes, try the following:

  • changing the lighting
  • taking breaks away from the screen

It is important to get an eyesight check from an optometrist, too.

Reasons For Blurry Vision: Is Diabetes Connected

How are blurry vision and diabetes related together? Many doctors of eye concerns together see that blurred eyes are an immediate result of having diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy is a severe eye condition that makes fragile eye vessels swell or leak. Diabetic retinopathy can either have two categories. One is due to high blood sugar in the bloodstream. This level causes blockage in the nerves on either the heart, eyes, or brain. Another category can be low blood sugar or hypoglycemia. Having hypoglycemia results in fatigue, weakness, irritability, and becoming pale. Fluctuating levels of sugar can disrupt the blood flow of oxygen in the organs such as the eyes.

The Connection Between Diabetes And Blurry Vision

Most likely, you have heard of diabetes. It is a metabolic disease when the human body cant produce any or enough insulin or isnt able to use insulin efficiently enough.

Your body needs insulin to break down the glucose that your cells use as fuel. If you have enough insulin, then a person can develop hyperglycemia, which is when sugar builds up in the blood since the insulin isnt breaking it down.

Hyperglycemia is potentially damaging to all the cells in the body, including those in the eyes. People are often surprised to learn that blurry vision is often one of the earliest noticeable signs of diabetes.

The blurriness is caused by fluids leaking into the eye and causing it to change shape, which makes it harder to focus. Some people who are diagnosed with diabetes also experience this when adapting to a new insulin medication dose.

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Causes & Risk Factors

Diabetic retinopathy results from the damage diabetes causes to the small blood vessels located in the retina. These damaged blood vessels can cause vision loss:

  • Fluid can leak into the macula, the area of the retina responsible for clear central vision. Although small, the macula is the part of the retina that allows us to see colors and fine detail. The fluid causes the macula to swell, resulting in blurred vision.
  • In an attempt to improve blood circulation in the retina, new blood vessels may form on its surface. These fragile, abnormal blood vessels can leak blood into the back of the eye and block vision.

Diabetic retinopathy is classified into two types.

Fluctuating Blood Sugar Levels

Blurred Vision Diabetes Causes

Blood sugar levels that fluctuate throughout the day or from time to time, can cause occasional blurry vision.

It is highly recommended to speak with your doctor about ways to regulate your blood sugar levels, as a constant fluctuation can cause many uncomfortable symptoms and can be harmful to your body.

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What Is Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition that can cause vision loss and blindness in people who have diabetes. It affects blood vessels in the retina .

If you have diabetes, its important to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. Diabetic retinopathy may not have any symptoms at first but finding it early can help you take steps to protect your vision.

Managing your diabetes by staying physically active, eating healthy, and taking your medicine can also help you prevent or delay vision loss.

Does Blurry Vision From Diabetes Go Away

Experiencing blurry vision as a result of diabetes can feel unsettling. Naturally, one of the first things you might ask yourself is how long its going to last.

When the visual disturbance is caused by hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia alone, your blurry vision should go away with time and regulation of your blood sugar. It can take several weeks for your blood sugar level and with it, your vision to return to normal. But the effect may only be temporary.

Blurred vision can come and go any time your blood sugar level fluctuates. If you have diabetes and experience blurry vision , speak with your doctor.

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Swelling Of The Eye Lens

Another potential effect from diabetes is swelling of the eye lens, leading to blurry vision. If your blood sugar levels change quickly from low to normal, the shape of your eyes lens can be affected and your vision can be blurred. Your vision goes back to normal after your blood sugar stabilizes. If youre getting eyeglasses, make sure your blood sugar levels are controlled before your exam so that you can get the most accurate glasses prescription, says Cai.

Prevent Or Delay Eye Diseases

Diabetes and blurry vision

You can protect your vision and lower your chance for vision loss with these steps:

  • Get a dilated eye exam at least once a year so your eye doctor can spot any problems early when theyre most treatable.
  • Keep your blood sugar levels in your target range as much as possible. Over time, high blood sugar not only damages blood vessels in your eyes, it can also affect the shape of your lenses and make your vision blurry.
  • Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels in your target range to lower your risk for eye diseases and vision loss. Also good for your health in general!
  • Quit smoking. Quitting lowers your risk for diabetes-related eye diseases and improves your health in many other ways too.
  • Get active. Physical activity protects your eyes and helps you manage diabetes.
  • Ask your doctor for a referral to diabetes self-management education and support services. People who receive less diabetes education are twice as likely to get diabetic retinopathy as people who receive more education.

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Can Diabetes Cause Blurry Vision

Diabetes can affect many aspects of a persons health and day-to-day life, including vision. In fact, there are several reasons that individuals with type 1 or type 2 diabetes might experience blurred vision. Causes of blurred vision for diabetics range from temporary and easily reversible conditions to a very serious disease known as diabetic retinopathy. For diabetics, annual eye exams are essential for maintaining clear and healthy vision. Continue reading below for more information on how diabetes can cause blurred vision.

Why Does My Vision Get Blurry After I Eat

Sudden high blood sugar following a meal can lead to blurry vision because the rapid increase in blood glucose causes an integral part of the eye, the lens, to swell. The swelling is caused by fluid moving in and out of the eye, and leads to changes in the shape of the lens and therefore changes in eyesight.

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Your Health Matters To Us

Every aspect of your health is important to us, not just your the health of your eyes. If you have questions about how your optometrist can help you manage your diabetes, contact a Vision Source® member practice near you. We are your partners in ensuring both your vision and overall health.

Thank you for being our valued patients and friends!

Top image by Flickr user Alan Levine used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Vision Source November 21, 2016

Related Diabetic Eye Diseases

Diabetes and blurred vision

Glaucoma and cataracts are also considered diabetic eye diseases.

  • Glaucoma risk is nearly double in diabetics. Aside from blurry vision, symptoms also include loss of vision, halos around lights, eye pain, red eyes, and vomiting.
  • Cataracts tend to develop earlier in diabetics, and the risk is two to five times higher. Blurry vision, faded vision, double vision, halos, and sensitivity to light are all symptoms.

The good news is that early detection and treatment reduces your risk of going blind by a whopping 95%.

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How Do I Decrease My Chances Of Having Diabetes

Treatment for diabetes is costly and can even have risks during any operation. Hence, it may be best for people to avoid having the chance of diabetes in their system. What are some of the methods that you can do to prevent diabetes? Here are some suggestions that we have. Yet, you may need a professional such as a doctor for the eyes and your digestive health.

Follow A Diet Plan Or Program

Considering what you eat when you are hungry can decrease the chances of being overweight. Obesity is a primary risk factor for diabetes and needs moderation. A nutritionist can manage what you eat to reduce your blood from becoming prone to diabetic concerns.

If you are not diagnosed with any diabetes but are into sweets and carbohydrates, you might want to take a step back in your food consumption. Children that are also into too many sweets at an early age may have repercussions once they become adults. Most of the time, diabetes issues dont show up until the age of 50 and above.

Avoid Unhealthy Habits

Take Control Of Your Type 2 Diabetes And Protect Your Vision

Be Proactive Being proactive about your vision care, especially if you have, or are at high risk of getting diabetes, should go beyond an annual visit to your optometrist. Diabetes, like many other physical challenges, in at least 33% of cases, is a consequence of obesity. A study performed by the Harvard School of Public Health concluded that being overweight and obese was the single most important factor in determining who would develop Type 2 Diabetes.

Maintain A Healthy Body Weight Health and fitness professionals advocate a strict program of diet and exercise to both prevent the onset of obesity driven diabetes, and to treat it quickly and effectively if in fact it has already manifested itself. If you first care for your body in a natural preventative or restorative fashion, you protect your eyes, and you can do it naturally.

Control Your Blood Sugar The most important step in controlling diabetes and protecting your vision is to maintain healthy blood sugar levels at all times. Since each individual responds differently to glucose fluctuations, even a small shift in glucose can register in the eyes.

As a diabetic, if someone told you doing a particular action would result in blindness, you would go out of your way to make sure you never committed that action again. Controlling your blood sugar is one of the easiest ways to prevent blindness, yet many diabetics ignore the advice.

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Regular Eye Exams Are Important

All people with diabetes are at risk for diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy develops over time and often goes unnoticed until vision loss occurs.

Following your diabetes ABCDEs and getting your eyes checked regularly by an ophthalmologist or optometrist are crucial to prevent vision loss or keep it from getting worse.

If you have diabetic retinopathy, very effective treatments are available. Your eye-care specialist will explain these to you.

How Do I Know If I Am Hypoglycemic

Diabetes And Vision | No 4 Blurred Vision Of 6 Early Diabetes Symptoms

If your blood sugar levels fall too low, you may experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Irregular or fast heartbeat
  • Pale skin
  • Tingling or numbness of cheek, tongue, or lips

Hypoglycemia can become a medical emergency if your body does not respond to treatment aimed at raising blood sugar levels quickly such as drinking juice or soda, eating a sugary snack or candy, or taking glucose tablets.

If hypoglycemia isnt treated right away, you may experience more severe symptoms that require immediate medical attention, such as:

  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision or other visual disturbances
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness

If you have diabetes, contact an eye doctor near you, who can diagnose and discuss the best treatment options.

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Do You Suffer From Blurry Vision

Blurred or out of focus vision or any rapid changes to your vision can be an early sign of diabetes. Surprisingly, your diabetes related blurry vision could be caused by any of these factors:

  • Hyperglycemia High blood sugar levels can cause fluid shifts and swelling of your eyes which moves the lens closer to or away from the retina, causing blurred vision.
  • HypoglycemiaLow blood sugar levels cause changes in your brain, preventing your ability to focus.
  • Rising and falling blood sugar levels. Fluctuating blood sugar levels can cause fluctuating vision as your eye changes in size and distance from lens to retina.
  • Your body adjusting to a new insulin or a new dosage of insulin. New insulin levels or new medications may cause shrinking and swelling leading to vision changes.

If the underlying causes are identified and addressed, these vision changes are relatively short term and temporary. However, uncontrolled diabetes or chronic hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia can lead to permanent damage to your vision.

How Can I Protect My Vision If I Have Diabetes

Keeping your blood sugar levels under control and getting regular eye exams are the best things you can do to protect your vision.

Whether you have been living with type 2 diabetes for years or if you were recently diagnosed, your care team should include an ophthalmologist who has experience providing eye care for people with diabetes. Your primary care doctor may be able to screen you in their office. If your results are abnormal, they can refer you to an ophthalmologist.1

It is important to have your eyes checked at least once a year, even if your vision has not changed. If you have diabetes, the key to protecting your eyes is catching complications early. When caught early, treatment for even some of the more serious vision complications of diabetes can be very effective.1

Have you experienced blurred vision?

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Prediabetes And Vision Loss

Your blood sugar level is higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes when you have prediabetes. This can cause retinopathy, which specifically means structural changes to the eye that can result in loss of vision. Having retinopathy is the most critical predictor for vision loss.

Simply put, a lot of individuals are unaware they have prediabetes. This leads to an even greater problem: not noticing retinopathy developing until its well-advanced and vision becomes blurry. Retinopathy has the best chance for treatment success if detected early and treated. Therefore, it is important to monitor your body and get regular eye examinations as prediabetes and vision loss are closely tied.

Diabetic retinopathy Early Signs

  • Pale, fatty deposits on the retina
  • Damaged nerve tissue
  • Any changes to the retinal blood vessels

Signs and Symptoms Of Vision Loss

  • Blurry vision or double vision
  • Flashing lights
  • A veil, cloud, or streaks of red in the field of vision, or dark or floating spots in one or both eyes, which can indicate bleeding
  • Blind or blank spots in the field of vision

Diabetes Treatment And Blurriness

Can Diabetes cause Blurry Vision ?

For people who take medication to increase insulin in the body, changing the timing of food or a change in activity levels can result in low blood sugar levels.

Blurriness from low blood sugar does not result from changes in the eye. Instead, it is due to the way hypoglycemia affects the brain.

Vision that changes in this way will return to normal after glucose levels return to normal.

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Preventing Diabetic Eye Damage

Most of the leading diabetic eye diseases have subtle symptoms in their early stages or no symptoms at all. All of them are far easier to treat in the early stages before advanced development or irreversible vision loss.

This is why its so important for individuals with diabetes to get thorough eye exams with a diabetes-experienced ophthalmologist annually. People who already have a diabetic eye disease or are at a high risk for developing one may need to go more frequently.

Proper management of diabetes is very important in preventing diabetic eye damage. Symptoms of out-of-control diabetes, such as continually high blood sugar or blood pressure, can lead to the development or worsening of diabetic eye diseases and eye damage. Effectively managing diabetes symptoms can relieve both the short-term and long-term effects of diabetic eye health and vision, especially in the early stages of a condition.

Finally, a healthy lifestyle and diet can help to better control diabetes and to improve eye health and function. A balanced amount of exercise and sleep may help an individual to maintain healthy blood sugar and blood pressure, while a diet of unprocessed, nourishing foods can help to boost eye health.

Certain foods contain vitamins and minerals known to improve eye health. These include leafy greens like spinach and kale , eggs , and nuts .

Risks& Complications Of Blurry Vision In One Eye

In most cases, blurred vision in one eye isnt caused by severe conditions or illnesses. However, in rare circumstances, blurry vision may link with a systemic disease or condition. If left untreated, this can lead to vision-threatening or life-threatening complications.

These can include:

  • Unconsciousness

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Symptoms Of Vision Problems

Are you currently having migraines while reading or typing in front of your electronic devices? Some doctors of eye healthcare say that eye problems that stem from digital devices are called digital eye strain. Prolonged eye problems may also come from environmental issues, apart from current physical conditions. Check out which symptoms should notify your immediate action of going to an optometrist or ophthalmologist soon.

  • Blurry Vision

Blurry vision is among the first signs of eye problems that can disrupt vision functions. A person with a blurry vision can accompany other eye problems. It can also have varied reasons, such as diabetes, brain injury, or prescription medication side effects. According to scientific researchers for the eyes, diabetic retinopathy may happen when blurry vision during diabetes problems show.

  • Nausea and Dizziness

Side effects, such as nausea and dizziness, can also be a symptom that usually goes together. If you are having eye problems that induce dizziness, you may even notice how your migraine often comes afterward. According to scientists, there are no main reasons that explain why these three eye problem signs intertwine. However, theories such as the issue of serotonin and the central nervous system may cause a headache with blurred vision.

  • Double Vision
  • Clouded Eyesight

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