High Blood Sugar Levels
Blurry vision in diabetics can be caused by something as simple as high blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels get too high, it can potentially cause the lens to swell. The lens is an essential part of vision, helping to focus light rays on their way to the retina. When the lens swells and changes shape, vision can become distorted and blurry as the lens is no longer able to do its job.
Sometimes this problem is chronic, while others may only experience this issue after meals especially meals high in carbs. The issue can normally be resolved by avoiding such meals. Depending on the individual, it may take anywhere from a few days to a few months for vision to completely return to normal.
Change In Mental Status
This can be a difficult symptom to deal with because when we become confused we may not be able to respond with appropriate judgment. Its important that people who are usually around you are able to recognize the signs of changes in mental status: muddled thinking, changes in speech, unusual behavior and even simply reduced activity. There are many other possible causes for this symptom besides hypertension, including stroke or possibly an unreported head injury, so always seek medical attention if you experience changes in consciousness. Make sure that family members and caregivers know what to watch for, and know that any sign of quickly changing mental status is an emergency that requires immediate medical response.
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Prevention Is The Prescription
Instead of waiting for your eyesight to deteriorate, take charge of your health and begin to eat foods that can prevent these age-related diseases. If you have elevated blood sugars or high blood pressure, begin eating a lower carbohydrate diet that focuses on vegetable carbs instead of processed carbs. Vegetables are naturally high in eye-protecting nutrients, including Vitamins A, C, and E. These important antioxidants can reduce inflammation and help preserve your sight. Instead of a big bowl of cereal for breakfast, try one of my new favorites, a big bowl of leftover stir-fry.
Many of my clients use a variety of supplements to preserve good eyesight. Nutrients that I recommend include alpha lipoic acid, lutein, lycopene and bilberry. All of these are found in the supplement 4Sight by Ortho Molecular. Just two capsules per day provide all of these antioxidants and other nutrients to protect your vision. I also recommend that my clients take Omega 3-DHA. This Omega-3 fatty acid is identical to the fats that are found in your eyes.
Other steps towards better eye health include not smoking, limiting alcohol intake and wearing UV-blocking sunglasses.
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How Diabetes Affects Your Vision
- Eye Health
Diabetes is a disease affecting your pancreas, which also affects the blood sugar and insulin levels in your body. Not only does diabetes affect your pancreas, but it also systemically affects your entire body. Typically, people already know that diabetes increases your risk of heart disease and stroke but, most people dont know that diabetes can also affect your vision. Therefore, regular comprehensive eye exams are needed to detect these issues early on to keep your eyes healthy. There are several eye diseases that occur as a result of diabetes. Read on to find out more about these diseases and how they may affect your vision.
The simplest way to explain diabetic retinopathy is that small blood vessels in your eyes begin to leak blood or yellow fluid into your eye. Early symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include having floaters, blurry vision, or distorted vision. If blurred vision or other symptoms dont clear up with improved blood sugar control, oftentimes medicine and other procedures may restore vision. The biggest preventative to diabetic retinopathy is management of blood sugar to normal levels and getting regular eye exams to catch the condition as early as possible. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in diabetics.
Diabetic macular edema
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How Does Diabetes Cause Blurry Vision
When the lens that you use to focus on objects with your eyes becomes swollen from high blood sugars, as in diabetes, they change shape causing varying degrees of vision loss. You may have noticed your vision changing from blurred to clearer over time.
When blood sugars go up and down, the lens in your eye will swell and shrink. When the lens swells, your vision is blurry. When the lens shrinks back to its normal size as blood sugars go down, vision becomes clear.
You may get blurred vision where you cant see the tiny details of objects. You may have it in one eye or in both eyes, frequently or not so often. It depends on how much your blood sugars are out of control.
- Low blood sugars from diabetes cause blurred vision, which resolves when blood sugar is brought into normal range.
- High blood sugars from diabetes only can cause blurred vision alone, with blurred vision worse following meals with carbohydrates, resolving with controlled blood sugars of three months or more
Even when no retinal injury occurs, blurred vision is a symptom of diabetes. The reason is related to the thickness of blood.
Thick blood by osmosis pulls liquid from its surroundings. In the eye, it pulls fluid out, causing the eye to lose liquid and causing difficulty with the ability to focus sharply on objects in your visual field.
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The Keto Diet And Blurry Vision
A popular eating plan for weight loss, this extremely low-carb, high-fat diet plan alters the balance of macronutrients to force the body into a metabolic state called ketosis, in which it uses fat for fuel, Palinski-Wade says.
Dialing back on carbohydrates can have a major impact on the amount of sugar in your blood. A keto diet provides very few carbohydrates, the macronutrient easiest to convert into glucose in the body, Palinski-Wade notes. When you eat few carbs, your blood sugar can lower as well.
Read more:Is Keto the Right Diet for You? Heres What You Should Know
Still, Palinski-Wade says blurry vision on the keto diet is unlikely for most people. However, youll need to be more careful if you have diabetes. Research published in May 2018 in the journal Diabetic Medicine showed that although the keto diet often improves blood sugar control in people with type 1 diabetes, it can result in a high number of hypoglycemic episodes.
According to Mayo Clinic, blurred vision can be a sign of worsening hypoglycemia, which is a fasting blood sugar of 70 milligrams per deciliter or below.
Take Control Of Your Type 2 Diabetes And Protect Your Vision
Be Proactive Being proactive about your vision care, especially if you have, or are at high risk of getting diabetes, should go beyond an annual visit to your optometrist. Diabetes, like many other physical challenges, in at least 33% of cases, is a consequence of obesity. A study performed by the Harvard School of Public Health concluded that being overweight and obese was the single most important factor in determining who would develop Type 2 Diabetes.
Maintain A Healthy Body Weight Health and fitness professionals advocate a strict program of diet and exercise to both prevent the onset of obesity driven diabetes, and to treat it quickly and effectively if in fact it has already manifested itself. If you first care for your body in a natural preventative or restorative fashion, you protect your eyes, and you can do it naturally.
Control Your Blood Sugar The most important step in controlling diabetes and protecting your vision is to maintain healthy blood sugar levels at all times. Since each individual responds differently to glucose fluctuations, even a small shift in glucose can register in the eyes.
As a diabetic, if someone told you doing a particular action would result in blindness, you would go out of your way to make sure you never committed that action again. Controlling your blood sugar is one of the easiest ways to prevent blindness, yet many diabetics ignore the advice.
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Reduce Your Risk Of Diabetic Retinopathy
You can reduce your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, or help prevent it getting worse, by:
- controlling your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- taking your diabetes medication as prescribed
- attending all your screening appointments
- getting medical advice quickly if you notice any changes to your vision
Read more about how to prevent diabetic retinopathy.
Treatments For Diabetic Retinopathy
Treatment for diabetic retinopathy is only necessary if screening detects significant problems that mean your vision is at risk.
If the condition has not reached this stage, the above advice on managing your diabetes is recommended.
The main treatments for more advanced diabetic retinopathy are:
- laser treatment
- injections of medication into your eyes
- an operation to remove blood or scar tissue from your eyes
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How Do Doctors Diagnose Eye Problems From Diabetes
Having a full, dilated eye exam is the best way to check for eye problems from diabetes. Your doctor will place drops in your eyes to widen your pupils. This allows the doctor to examine a larger area at the back of each eye, using a special magnifying lens. Your vision will be blurry for a few hours after a dilated exam.
Your doctor will also
How Glaucoma And Cataract Occurs
To compensate for the loss of blood flow to the retina, new blood vessels may start to grow. These weaker vessels can easily rupture and bleed into the middle part of the eye. This not only causes scarring but increases the pressure within the eye to dangerously high levels.
High intraocular eye pressure is one of the key contributing factors to the development of glaucoma.
High blood sugar can also cause structural changes to the lens of the eye as deposits start to accumulate. This can accelerate the progression of cataracts in people with diabetes.
People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop glaucoma or cataracts as someone without diabetes.
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What To Do If You Have Blurry Vision After Eating
If you experience blurry vision after eating, it’s important to seek medical help as soon as possible. Blurry vision after eating is a clear sign of diabetes and should not be ignored.
Meanwhile, paying attention to what causes your blurry vision after eating can help prevent it from occurring. Try lowering your carbohydrate intake, and choose foods that cause a gradual increase in blood sugar levels.
You can also help keep your blood sugar in check by eating smaller, more frequent meals, drinking plenty of water throughout the day, and eating higher fiber foods.
If your rise in blood sugar is not associated with any serious symptoms such as shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, or dry mouth, you could try exercising as a way to lower your blood sugar. The level of exercise does not have to be strenuous. Research has shown that just a 15-minute walk after every meal can help manage blood sugar levels for a 24-hour period.
If you are already being treated for diabetes and you get blurry vision after eating as a new symptom, talk to your healthcare provider. Your diabetes management plan may need to be revised.
The Link Between Sugar And Your Eye Health
Did you know that your nutrition choices can affect your eye health? This is especially true for sugar intake, a subtle staple of the American diet. At Piedmont Eye Center, we care about your eye health, which means we also care about the foods you eat that can affect it, particularly sugar. So, we have gathered some information for you on how sugar can affect your eye health.
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What Is Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic eye disease is a group of eye problems that can affect people with diabetes. These conditions include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, cataracts, and glaucoma.
Over time, diabetes can cause damage to your eyes that can lead to poor vision or even blindness. But you can take steps to prevent diabetic eye disease, or keep it from getting worse, by taking care of your diabetes.
The best ways to manage your diabetes and keep your eyes healthy are to
- manage your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol, sometimes called the diabetes ABCs
- If you smoke, get help to quit smoking
- have a dilated eye exam once a year
Often, there are no warning signs of diabetic eye disease or vision loss when damage first develops. A full, dilated eye exam helps your doctor find and treat eye problems earlyoften before much vision loss can occur.
The 3 Stages Of Diabetic Retinopathy
1. Background Neuropathy
Background retinopathy is said to occur if you have developed microaneurysms on your retina. Microaneurysms are when there is a swelling of the capillaries that feed into the retina. The presence of relatively small numbers of microaneurysms will not usually cause problems with vision.
If the extent of retinopathy is able to grow more significantly, however, this is more likely to present a risk to your vision. Retinopathy can be treated, so it is important that you attend retinopathy screening appointments.
Diabetic maculopathy is a condition that can result from retinopathy. Maculopathy is damage to the macula, the part of the eye which provides us with our central vision. A common from of damage is from diabetic macular oedema in which fluid builds up on the macula. Diabetic maculopathy is often treated by laser surgery.
3. Proliferative Retinopathy
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The Link Between Carbs Blood Sugar And Vision
Blurry vision after eating occurs when a rapid increase in blood sugar levels causes the lens of the eye to swell. This changes the shape of the lens, thereby changing your eyesight. Blurry vision, in general, is often one of the earliest symptoms of diabetes.
People without a diabetes diagnosis who experience blurry vision after eating should see a healthcare providerespecially if they have diabetes risk factors. Left unchecked, diabetes can lead to serious complications, including blindness.
This article discusses the causes of blurry vision after eating and explains why it occurs. It also explains diabetic eye complications and treatments.
When To See Your Doctor
If youre experiencing sudden blurred vision together with eye pain, you should go see your doctor and have your eye checked
If your vision has become blurred over time, it could be a sign of an underlying condition, which could be diabetes amongst other possible causes.
Your doctor should be able to help distinguish why your vision may have worsened.
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Is Blurry Vision With Diabetes Temporary
Blurry vision can result from both short-term and long-term complications of diabetes.
Long-term eye problems stem from blood vessel damage in the retina of one or both eyes due to high blood sugar levels over the course of many years. These complications are not temporary, but treatment can slow their progression.
Short-term blurriness, due to high or low blood sugar levels, is temporary and will resolve when blood sugar levels return to normal.
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What Eye Conditions Are Associated With The Long
Diabetes comes with a varied smorgasbord of eye diseases that can develop because of the disease. Some of the eye conditions caused by the condition over a long time due to high blood sugars include:
Recognizing blurred vision
Pay attention to your vision. When do your eyes feel strained? Do certain activities such as night driving or staring at the computer cause you problems with your vision?
If you notice a pattern where your vision gets blurrier for a while, and then it gets better, you may have an issue. Any changes in your vision that concern you should be addressed.
When should I contact my doctor?
Eye pain and blurred vision that comes on quickly indicates that its imperative that you see an eye doctor for evaluation right away.
If youve been plagued with blurry vision off and on over a period, it may be that a medical condition, a medication or some other factor is causing your vision to be off. Your primary care provider can do other tests to determine if you have an underlying condition causing your vision problems. 2
When should I contact my doctor if I have blurry vision and diabetes?
If you have diabetes, you are already at risk for many different problems with your eyes. You should have regular vision check-ups, with dilated eye examination where the vision care professional looks on the back of your eye at the complex weave of vessels that are to nourish your eyes with rich blood and keep your vision sharp.
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When You Should Visit The Doctor
Blurred vision can be caused by a variety of factors, including early signs of diabetes. If a person experiences any of the following symptoms, they should consult an eye doctor:
- They possess diabetes and havent had an eye exam in a year.
- They have diabetes and are experiencing eyesight issues.
- Vision changes occur quickly or worsen.
Eye issues can occur as a result of a new case of diabetes or as a consequence of a current condition.