How can diabetes affect my eyesight?

Diabetes can affect your eye in a number of ways:

  • The most serious eye condition associated with diabetes involves the network of blood vessels supplying the retina. This condition is called diabetic retinopathy.
  • The changes in blood sugar levels resulting from diabetes can affect the lens inside your eye, especially when diabetes is uncontrolled. This can result in blurring of vision which comes and goes over the day, depending on your blood sugar levels.
  • A longer-term effect of diabetes is that the lens of your eye can go cloudy, this is called a cataract.

Not everyone who has diabetes develops an eye complication. Of those that do, many people have a very mild form of retinopathy which may never progress to a sight-threatening condition.

We have a leaflet, part of our Understanding series, on eye conditions related to diabetes:

We also have the leaflet in Welsh, which is currently only available as a PDF:

If you need advice about your diabetes-related eye condition please contact our Helpline on:

Or alternatively contact the Diabetes UK Helpline on:



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