How diabetes affects your eyes

How diabetes affects your eyes

If you have diabetes, it can cause problems that harm your eyes. When you don’t control your blood sugar, it can lead to many problems with your eyes, including blindness without any warning. In fact, diabetes is the biggest cause of blindness in working-age adults in the United States.

Keep your eyes healthy

There are things you can do to keep your eyes healthy. Below are some suggestions for ways to avoid eye problems:

  • Keep your blood sugar under control, which will lessen your chance of getting eye disease. 
  • If you have high blood pressure, it’s important to bring it under control because high blood pressure can make eye problems worse.
  • If you smoke, quit smoking.
  • See an eye doctor at least once a year for a dilated eye exam.

When to see an eye doctor

If you have any of the symptoms below, make an appointment to see an eye doctor:

  • Things become blurry
  • You have trouble reading signs or books
  • You start seeing double
  • One or both of your eyes hurt
  • Your eyes get red and the redness does not go away
  • You feel pressure in your eye
  • You regularly see spots or things floating
  • You have trouble being able to see that a line is straight
  • You have trouble seeing things at the side

Talk to your doctor about steps you can take to keep your blood sugar under control and to keep your eyes healthy. For more information about complications from diabetes, check out the Health Complications section.


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