High sugars from diabetes may develop into complications that require routine monitoring and upkeep, or can even cause diabetic retinopathy (diabetic eye diasease). Damage to the eyes is one of the more common complications from diabetes. However, with proper care and proactive measures, these can be prevented.


Eye Complications & Risk Factors

Patients with diabetes can develop various eye complications due to certain risk factors. These complications include glaucoma, cataracts, and retinopathy. The risk factors include high sugars, high blood pressure, duration of diabetes, and genetics. So it’s important to remember that as long as you’re working towards controlling your diabetes, you are also minimizing those risk factors.


Here’s How to Fight It

  • Get Annual Eye Screenings: A yearly screening at your eye doctor is recommended. This will allow you to catch any signs and get treatment sooner. If you start to experience any changes in vision prior to your regular appointment, don’t wait. Get an appointment as soon as possible!
  • Monitor and Control: High sugar levels and high blood pressure can lead to many diabetes complications. It’s important to keep those in range. You can do this by eating healthy and exercising daily. Controlling these levels not only reduces your risk of developing eye complications but also helps with other diabetes complications.
  • A Diet for the Eyes: Eating a diet that supports healthy eyes is one of the most helpful ways to avoid complications, such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Look for foods that have high sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, omega-3-fatty acids, and zinc. These foods look like eggs, carrots, spinach, fruits, nuts, salmon, tuna, and lentils                                                    
  • Protect Your Eyes: UVA exposure from the sun can lead to cataracts and degeneration. It’s always best to throw on some sunglasses, especially on a sunny day. 
  • Try New Eye Treatments: Iowa Diabetes Research is currently enrolling patients in a research study where they will be looking at diabetes & eye disease. See if you qualify!


Yes, people with diabetes are at greater risk of developing eye complications. However, according to the American Diabetes Association, by being proactive and controlling your sugars, most people with diabetes only develop a minor eye disorder.