Common causes of blurred vision in diabetics

High or low blood sugar, retinopathy, insulin use… are common causes of blurred vision in people with diabetes.

People with diabetes often have short-term and long-term vision complications. The opacity changes over time, coming slowly or rapidly depending on the underlying cause. Here are the causes of blurred vision in people with diabetes according to: Medical News Today.

Increased blood sugar

In people with diabetes, fluid can move in and out of the eye due to hyperglycemia, causing the lens to swell. When the shape of the lens changes, blurring occurs because the lens focuses light on the back of the eye. This is a short-term problem, vision returns to normal when blood sugar levels drop. Some people may have blurred vision when starting insulin to treat high blood sugar, when blood sugar stabilizes, vision will return to its original state.


Patients taking insulin can lower blood sugar. Too low a blood sugar can lead to blurred vision, double vision, and decreased contrast sensitivity. When blood glucose rises to a safe level (between 70-130 mg/dL fasting, less than 180 mg/dL 1-2 hours after eating), the condition resolves.

Blurred vision can be caused by high blood sugar. Image: Freepik

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a long-term complication that can lead to blindness. It occurs when high blood sugar affects the small blood vessels in the retina of the eye.

The first stage is non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy, also known as background retinopathy, and patients often do not notice any symptoms at this stage. Over time, some people develop proliferative diabetic retinopathy, which is a severe stage that can seriously affect vision. According to Indian research, about 75% of cases progress to proliferative diabetic retinopathy within a year.

Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy is usually asymptomatic but begins with changes in the blood vessels such as weakness, bulging, and fluid leakage. The disease can cause swelling in the center of the retina, called macular edema, affecting vision, making it difficult to see small details. The disease can be mild, moderate or severe depending on the extent to which the blood vessels are affected.

Proliferative diabetic retinopathy causes blood vessels to be unable to supply blood to the retina due to a blockage. The disease often has symptoms such as bleeding from blood vessels in the eye, appearance of dark spots or lines in vision, difficulty seeing at a distance, scarring on the surface of the eye. The disease does not cause red eyes because of bleeding from the back of the eye, symptoms can come and go over a period of time. Diabetic retinopathy can develop into diabetic macular edema, neovascular glaucoma, retinal detachment, and loss of vision.

In addition to retinopathy, diabetes also develops common complications such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts that make vision blurry and can lead to blindness. Eye complications from diabetes tend to be progressive, often worsening over time. These complications can’t be prevented, but managing blood sugar, controlling blood pressure, and following a treatment plan (eating, exercising, and medication) can slow the progression of complications. People with diabetes should have regular eye exams to detect eye problems in the early stages, so that timely measures can be taken to slow or prevent the disease from getting worse.

Mai Cat
(Follow Medical News Today)


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