General Health

Can Diabetes Cause Blurry Vision?

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on- 06 September 2023, Updated on - 08 September 2023

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Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by high levels of glucose in the blood. In India, the prevalence of diabetes has been steadily increasing over the years. While most people are aware of the common symptoms of diabetes, some uncommon signs such as blurry vision can also be an important indicator of the condition. Recognising the connection between diabetes and blurry vision is crucial for early detection and treatment of diabetic eye diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts. Let's know more about it in this blog.

How do high blood sugar levels affect vision?

High blood sugar levels can cause temporary changes in the shape of the lens in the eye, leading to blurry vision. Elevated blood sugar levels can also reduce fluid around the lenses, affecting their ability to focus.

How Does Diabetes Cause Blurry Vision?

  • Diabetic Retinopathy and Diabetes: Diabetic retinopathy is a common eye condition caused by damage to the blood vessels in the retina. It can lead to blurry vision or even blindness if left untreated.
  • Diabetic Macular Oedema and Diabetes: Diabetic macular oedema occurs when fluid leaks into the macula (visualizes things present in the front of the eye), causing it to swell and resulting in blurry central vision.
  • Glaucoma and Diabetes: Glaucoma, another common eye condition, occurs when there is increased pressure within the eye and can cause blurry vision if left untreated.
  • Cataracts and Diabetes: Cataracts, clouding of the lens in the eye, can develop at an earlier age in individuals with diabetes, leading to blurry vision.

Other visual symptoms associated with diabetes

  • Floaters: Dark spots or lines that appear to float in your field of vision.
  • Double Vision: Seeing two images instead of one.
  • Difficulty Focusing: Trouble adjusting your eyes to different distances.
  • Blind Spots: Areas of your visual field that appear dark or missing.

Recognising these symptoms and managing blood sugar levels are crucial steps in preventing further complications and preserving good eye health. Consult your healthcare provider if you experience any changes in your vision.

Importance of Early Detection and Diagnosis

Blurry vision can be a sign of several underlying health issues, including diabetes. It is crucial to detect and diagnose blurry vision early to prevent further complications.

  • Regular Eye Examinations: Individuals with diabetes should have regular eye exams to monitor their vision and detect any potential problems. These exams can help identify conditions like diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular oedema, glaucoma and cataracts that can cause blurry vision.
  • Role of Optometrists and Ophthalmologists: Optometrists and ophthalmologists play a vital role in detecting and diagnosing diabetic eye problems. They have the expertise to assess the health of your eyes, perform necessary tests and recommend appropriate treatment options if needed.

Early detection and diagnosis can help prevent or slow down the progression of these conditions, ensuring better vision outcomes.

Managing Diabetes-Related Blurry Vision

Measures that may help manage vision problems associated with diabetes include:

  • Healthy Diet: Opt for whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. Limit your intake of processed foods and those with hidden sugars. Meal planning is crucial for diabetics to maintain stable blood sugar levels.
  • Regular Exercise: Engaging in physical activity helps to lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise such as brisk walking or swimming per week.
  • Stress Management: Chronic stress can affect blood sugar levels and overall health. Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, yoga or meditation to reduce stress.

Medications for Diabetic Management

In addition to lifestyle modifications, medications are often prescribed to manage diabetes effectively:

  • Oral Medications: Depending on the severity of your diabetes, your doctor may prescribe oral medications such as sulfonylureas and biguanides (metformin) to help control blood sugar levels.
  • Insulin Therapy: Some individuals with diabetes may require insulin injections to regulate their blood sugar levels effectively. While insulin therapy does not directly affect vision, it helps regulate blood sugar levels, which in turn can prevent further damage to the eyes.

Preventing diabetic eye problems

Preventing diabetic eye problems is crucial for individuals with diabetes as it can significantly impact their vision and overall quality of life.

1. Importance of maintaining good blood sugar control

Maintaining good blood sugar control is essential in preventing diabetic eye problems. By keeping your blood sugar levels within the target range, you can reduce the risk of developing conditions like diabetic retinopathy, macular oedema, glaucoma and cataracts. You can monitor your blood sugar levels at home using glucometers or get a blood glucose test done.

2. Eye Care Practices for Individuals With Diabetes

Eye care practices that should be followed by individuals with diabetes include:

  • Regular Eye Examinations and Screenings: It is recommended to have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year to detect any early signs of diabetic eye diseases. Early detection can lead to timely intervention and better outcomes.
  • Proper Contact Lens Hygiene: If you wear contact lenses, it's important to follow proper hygiene practices to reduce the risk of eye infections. Clean and disinfect your lenses regularly, avoid sleeping with them, and replace them as recommended by your eye care professional.
  • Protection from UV Rays and Blue Light Exposure: Prolonged exposure to UV rays and blue light can increase the risk of developing cataracts and other eye conditions. Wear sunglasses or prescription glasses with UV protection when outdoors and consider using blue light filters on digital screens.
  • Use eye-care solution: Use eye drops or solutions to treat dry eyes and irritation.

When to Consult a Doctor?

If you experience persistent or worsening blurry vision symptoms, it is essential to seek immediate medical attention. Other accompanying eye problems such as floaters, eye pain or redness should also prompt a visit to an eye specialist. Remember, early detection and treatment are key to preserving your vision.

Treatment Options for Diabetic Eye Conditions

Treatment options for diabetic eye conditions may include:

  • Laser Treatments: Laser therapy can help treat diabetic retinopathy by sealing leaking blood vessels and preventing further damage.
  • Injections: Medications like anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drugs may be injected into the eye to reduce swelling and prevent the progression of conditions like diabetic macular oedema.
  • Surgery: In advanced cases, surgical procedures like vitrectomy may be necessary to remove blood or scar tissue from the eye.


To ensure optimal eye health, it is crucial for individuals with diabetes to actively manage their condition and prioritise regular eye care. Seeking professional help from an ophthalmologist or optometrist is essential for early detection and timely treatment of any vision problems. Following recommended treatment plans, including maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, taking prescribed medications, and attending regular eye exams, can significantly reduce the risk of vision loss.


Consult Apollo’s Expert Doctors


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Frequently Asked Questions

Early detection and management can prevent or slow down the progression of diabetic eye disease, but it may not be fully reversible.  

Yes, people with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts at a younger age due to changes in lens proteins caused by high blood sugar levels.  

Blurry vision can also be caused by various factors, however, if you have diabetes or experience sudden vision changes, it's important to consult your doctor.  

While blurry vision is a common symptom of diabetes, not all individuals with diabetes will experience it. Those with poorly controlled blood sugar levels and unmanaged diabetes are at a higher risk of developing blurry vision.  

Yes, blurry vision can occur in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It is more likely to happen when blood sugar levels are poorly controlled, regardless of diabetes type.  

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