Effects of diabetes on vision

The effects of diabetes on our organism can be very serious. It is important to maintain strict control of this disease. Only in this way will we avoid derived symptomatologies that can irreversibly affect our vision.

What is diabetes?

The problem of diabetic people is that they are unable to metabolize glucose, which is commonly known as sugar. This is due to the fact that its pancreas ceases to manufacture – or manufactures very little – insulin, which is the hormone responsible for metabolizing glucose. The only option left to them is to administer it themselves by means of daily injections and to maintain strict diet control and sugar levels.


Behind the development of diabetes are mainly genetic factors. Although there are also other factors that can lead to its emergence: poor food, with excessive consumption of saturated fats and sugars, a sedentary life or being an obese person are factors that predispose to develop this disease.


An increase in sugar levels may lead to problems of a very diverse nature, especially the body. Unmetabolized glucose damages the blood vessels, mainly the smallest. The kidneys, heart, or eyes, which are highly vascularized structures, are the organs most affected.

Specifically on vision, there can be a steep decline of visual acuity which, if not treated in time, can result in irreversible blindness. The retina, which is a structure located at the back of the eye where the images are reflected, suffers greatly from excess blood sugar. Finally, if this decompensation is maintained at sugar levels, it will lead to the development of a disease: diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic Retinopathy

The appearance of diabetic retinopathy results in swelling, fluid leakage, abnormal growth of blood vessels, etc. The most affected part is the macula, which is a very specific point of the retina where the images are focused. It is the central point of view and therefore the most important one. A deterioration of the macula is a marked decline in vision and, if not treated in time, it can lead to irreversible blindness.

Aside from diabetic retinopathy, there are other conditions that can be accelerated by the presence of diabetes. This would be the case of cataracts, which, although not as directly related as in the case of retinopathy, is true that those who suffer from it are more likely to develop them earlier.

As we always say, the most important thing is to carry out the relevant ophthalmological controls, at least an annual review. This is the best remedy for detecting and slowing down the progress of this type of disease which so severely affects our vision.