How to Protect Your Eyes When You Have Diabetes?

How to protect your eyes when you have diabetes?

Diabetes affects people’s health in numerous different ways. Some people may not know that diabetes can affect your eye health too. This is how diabetes can pose health risks for your eyes and what you can do to protect your eyes from troublesome diseases. 

How can diabetes affect your eyes?

First, let’s discuss how your diabetes can affect your eyesight and your overall eye health. Shortly, diabetes is caused when your body cannot process food as energy. There are two possible options. Either your body doesn’t produce insulin, or it doesn’t respond to it. Insulin is a hormone responsible for delivering blood sugar (glucose) to the cells inside your body. When it’s not regulated properly, your bloodstream will contain way too much glucose in it. As a result, the blood vessels and nerves running through your body will be damaged. That also includes your eyes.

The following are three major tips on how you can protect your eyes from the damage potentially caused by diabetes:

Control your blood sugar

If you want to protect your eyes from health risks caused by diabetes, the number one thing you need to do is track your blood sugar levels as well as A1C. All diabetics know how important this is. Your blood sugar is what can significantly affect the health of your eyes. Some of the most prominent risk factors for retinopathy are frequently low and high blood sugar levels. 

Therefore, you must regularly check your blood sugar levels and ensure they stay within your target range. If you’re unsure exactly how your daily habits affect your A1C, consult your general healthcare provider and see what you can do to bring your blood sugar levels back into your target range.

Get regular eye exams

Though it should be everyone’s habit to have yearly eye exams, these doctor visits are even more important for those with diabetes. More specifically, people with diabetes should get screened for glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy symptoms. 

The problem is that most people either forget or simply don’t form this habit of getting their eyes checked regularly. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, around 60% of diabetic patients skip annual eye exams. This poses a great risk to their eye health. The longer you wait for your eye exam, the bigger the risk of developing an asymptomatic eye disease. It will likely go undetected for a while and cause troublesome health issues in the long run. 

Suppose you notice that you’re experiencing unusual eye symptoms like dark spots, blurry vision, vision loss, or light flashes. In that case, you need to contact your ophthalmologist as soon as possible. Detecting any eye disease early on will lead to better outcomes. You will also be able to get better treatment and keep your eyes healthy. 

Also, remember that your eyes aren’t separate from the rest of your body. They are very much connected and share the same vascular system as your whole body. You can notice some of the early changes happening in your eyes if you pay close attention to your feet, kidney, and other parts of your body containing blood vessels since they will mimic the changes in your eyes. The spots in your body that contain blood vessels are numerous, but you can only see them clearly in your eyes. 

To protect your eyes, you need to be able to detect these changes as early as possible. Early detection of diabetic retinopathy is one of the major signs that your whole body is experiencing troubles caused by diabetes. If you experience something like this, your physician needs to be informed. 

Protect your eyes from UV rays

Lastly, to ensure your health is in good condition, you also need to protect your eyes from damaging sun rays. Whenever you’re out in the sun, make sure you’re wearing sunglasses that are able to block out 100% of all UV rays. UV rays can cause several eye diseases. This includes age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. 


To sum up, diabetes affects your blood vessels and, therefore, many different parts of your body that are mutually connected. That includes your eyes too. In order to protect your eyes, you need to have regular eye exams, protect your eyes from the sun, and keep your blood sugar in control.