Call us

+91-7291089674 (Bandra)
+91-7291092120 (Kandivali)

  • JAS-ANZ Accredited Certification
  • ICS Certified
  • NABH Certified Eye Hospital in Mumbai
Ojas Eye Hospital in Bandra, Kandivali, Mumbai

Eyesight Challenges in Diabetes: What You Should Be Aware of?

September 20, 2023

Due to unhealthy lifestyle and eating habits, diabetes has become a common health problem all around the world. We are all familiar with the impact of diabetes on blood sugar levels and its impact on our general health, but it’s important to understand that diabetes can also have serious effects on our eyes. Diabetes increases the likelihood of developing diabetic eye disorders, which are eye conditions that are brought on by diabetes, and if these conditions are not managed properly, they can severely damage your eye health and even lead to vision impairment or blindness.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about diabetic eye problems, their causes, symptoms, prevention, and treatment.

Diabetes and your eyes: the major eye problems

A group of eye conditions that can affect people with diabetes are referred to as diabetic eye diseases. The blood vessels in the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye, are affected by diabetes, which leads to several diseases. The most prevalent diabetic eye issues include diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic macular edema.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of irreversible blindness in adults. In our eyes the images are formed at the light-sensitive part i.e., the retina, and when the blood sugar level is high, it causes damage to the small blood vessels in the retina.

Symptoms include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Dark spots in the vision
  • Color defects in vision
  • Complete vision loss
  • Dark threads floating (floaters)

Diabetic retinopathy is of two types:

  • Early non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy
  • Advanced or proliferative diabetic retinopathy


Glaucoma is another common eye condition that diabetic patients are more likely to develop. In this eye condition, sometimes the fluid present inside the eye doesn’t drain and leads to a pressure buildup in the eye. When this pressure within the eye increases, it causes damage to the optic nerve. Diabetic patients are twice as prone to develop glaucoma as their peers without diabetes, and if it is left untreated, it can lead to peripheral vision loss and even permanent blindness.

Symptoms include:

  • Eye pain
  • Red eyes
  • Nausea
  • Halos around lights
  • Loss of peripheral vision


Cataracts are a common eye problem in people with diabetes, affecting the eye lens. Diabetic patients are two to five times more vulnerable to cataracts than those without diabetes and at a higher risk of developing them at an earlier age, making them progress more rapidly. In cataracts, the lens of the eye gets cloudy or foggy, which results in blurry or hazy vision.

Symptoms include:

  • Cloudy vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Double vision
  • Halos around lights

Diabetic Macular Edema

A complication of diabetic retinopathy is diabetic macular edema, which occurs when the damaged blood vessels leak fluid into the macula, and this fluid accumulation can cause the macula to swell, leading to distorted or blurred vision.

Symptoms include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Double vision
  • Floaters
  • Dark spots
  • Difficulty seeing colors
  • Difficulty seeing in bright light
  • Distorted or wavy lines are seen

Prevention from diabetic eye diseases

It is difficult to control diabetes and eye damage, but there are several steps you can take to prevent or manage them effectively:

  • Control your diabetes: The best way to significantly reduce the risk of diabetic eye problems is to keep your blood sugar levels within a targeted range. A healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and regular exercise, along with regular monitoring and medication, is essential for diabetes management.
  • Get regular eye exams done: If you are a diabetic patient, it’s a must to visit the ophthalmologist at least once a year. Early detection of any eye issues can result in more successful treatment outcomes.
  • Blood pressure and cholesterol management: High blood pressure and cholesterol levels can exacerbate diabetic eye problems; monitoring and managing them can help protect your eyes and overall health.
  • Healthy lifestyle: Maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and staying physically active can help manage diabetes and thus protect your eyes.

Treatment of diabetic eye diseases

Treatment for diabetic eye problems depends on the specific condition and its severity.

Treatment of diabetic retinopathy has the following options:

  • Keeping blood glucose levels under control
  • Laser treatment or photocoagulation
  • Vitrectomy
  • Injections of medications into the eye
  • Anti- VEGF or an anti-inflammatory medicine
  • Surgery in more advanced cases to prevent or reduce vision loss

Treatment of macular edema has the following options:

  • Keeping the blood sugar and blood glucose levels under control
  • Laser surgery
  • Anti-VEGF therapy

Treatment of glaucoma has the following options:

  • Keeping the blood sugar and blood glucose levels under control
  • Eye drops
  • Laser surgery
  • Trabeculoplasty
  • Oral medication
  • Iridotomy
  • Microsurgery
  • Cyclophotocoagulation

Treatment of cataracts has the following options:

  • Keeping the blood sugar and blood glucose levels under control in diabetic patients can prevent or slow down the progression of cataracts.
  • Cataract surgery is done to remove the clouded lens and replace it with an artificial lens to restore clear vision.

Final thoughts from Ojas – Eye Hospital in Mumbai

For those who have diabetes, diabetic eye problems are a serious concern, but with proper management and early detection, the risk of vision loss can be greatly reduced. You can actively safeguard your eyes and preserve your vision by managing your blood sugar levels, getting regular eye exams, and leading a healthy lifestyle.

Booking an appointment with the eye specialists at Ojas – Eye Hospital in Mumbai can help you properly monitor and diagnose your eye health issues if you have diabetes.

Managing your overall health and well-being includes taking care of your eyes as well.


Ojas Eye Hospital A Center of Excellence for Contoura Vision, Femto Bladefree Lasik in Mumbai, India.