Back To News

How does diabetes affect the eyes?

Diabetes is a condition that affects the blood sugar levels in your body. Sugar in your body is controlled by insulin, a hormone that is secreted by the pancreas. Those with diabetes lose the ability to release insulin or the insulin they do release doesn’t work effectively.

Undiagnosed diabetes or diabetes that is not controlled well results in the blood sugars becoming high in your body. Prolonged high blood sugar can have a major effect on the health of your eyes, as well as other parts of the body, as it damages the blood vessels in your body.

The complications that arise when diabetes affects eye health is called diabetic retinopathy. It’s a serious condition that can lead to blindness. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of preventable sight loss in the UK.*

The blood vessels in your eyes are crucial to helping you see. When they are damaged, the retina can’t receive the blood it needs to work properly, causing vision loss.

Those with diabetes are also at risk of developing glaucoma and cataracts, two other types of eye problems that can lead to blindness.

The good news is, if you suffer from diabetes, there’s a lot you can do to prevent these problems from occurring. Keeping your blood sugar in control is the most important factor and this can be achieved by taking your prescribed medication, as well as following a healthy diet as advised by a dietician and enjoying regular exercise.


Book an eye test