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Diabetes and Eyesight

Diabetes and the Eyes

Diabetes is a very serious condition that affects hundreds of thousands of people every year throughout the world. A person with diabetes suffers from higher than healthy blood sugar levels as a result of the body’s inability either to

produce a sufficient amount of insulin or properly absorb the insulin being produced. Unfortunately, beyond the high blood sugar that is a direct result of diabetes, many complications arise as an indirect result of diabetes, particularly when it comes to a person’s eyes.

First Eye Care in Corsicana, TX explains, “Diabetic retinopathy is possibly the most serious eye condition related to diabetes. This occurs as a result of extended periods of high blood sugar. Diabetic retinopathy comes in two types: nonproliferative and proliferative.”


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Diabetes is a disease that affects the way we process food for energy and growth. With all forms of diabetes—type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes—the body has trouble converting sugar in the blood into energy, resulting in a host of potential health problems.

 
Diabetes increases the likelihood that common diabetes-related vision problems or diseases might occur:
  • People with diabetes are prone to developing cataracts at an earlier age.
  • People with diabetes are almost 50% more likely to develop glaucoma
  • Macular degeneration is more common in people with diabetes due to malfunctioning blood vessels in the middle region of the retina responsible for central, sharp vision.
  • People with diabetes can develop diabetic retinopathy; an eye disease that affects the blood vessels in the all-important retina. Nearly 45 percent of Americans diagnosed with diabetes have some stage of diabetic retinopathy.
That’s why there’s no separating diabetes and vision. If you have diabetes, then you should understand vision problems that increase in likelihood as a result of the disease.

Diabetes Statistics

Over 21 million people in the United States have diabetes, with an estimated additional 6 million people unaware they have a form of the disease. What’s more, an estimated 54 million Americans ages 40 to 74 have prediabetes, a condition that puts them at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. According to a recent American Optometric Association survey, diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults ages 20 to 74.

Diabetic Retinopathy