Get the Facts You Need During Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month!

Posted by: Eye Health Northwest in Diabetes on November 10, 2022

What does high blood sugar have to do with your vision? Diabetes is a potentially life-threatening chronic health condition.

One complication of uncontrolled diabetes is diabetic eye disease, which can lead to vision loss. One of the early warning signs of diabetic eye disease is blurry vision. 

To help educate all Americans about the link between diabetes and eye disease, the American Academy of Ophthalmology observes Diabetic Eye Awareness Month in November. 

Keep reading for the facts you need during Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month!

Blurry Vision is an Early Symptom of Diabetic Eye Disease

One reason why blurry vision can be a symptom of undiagnosed diabetes has to do with rapid fluctuations in blood sugar. If your blood sugar levels change quickly, it can affect the shape of your eye’s natural lens and cause blurry vision. 

Your vision will typically go back to normal after your blood sugar stabilizes. If you notice this symptom, mention it to your eye doctor immediately or primary care doctor so you can be tested.

Blurry vision in those with diabetes can stem from more than just fluctuating vision. There are a few eye conditions that can develop due to uncontrolled blood sugar levels that can cause blurry vision, among other symptoms.

For this reason, if you have diabetes, it is essential to visit your eye doctor routinely to ensure you are not at risk for vision loss due to diabetic eye disease. 

Most Common Eye Conditions Related to Diabetes

People with diabetes are more likely to develop blinding eye diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, glaucoma, and cataracts.

Diabetic Retinopathy 

Diabetic retinopathy affects the blood vessels in the retina. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can cause the blood vessels in the retina to swell, leak or close off completely. 

When this happens, abnormal new blood vessels may grow on the surface of the retina, which can cause numerous other issues inside the eyes.

Diabetic Macular Edema 

Diabetic macular edema occurs due to fluid buildup on the retina. This causes swelling and blurry central vision and can lead to permanent vision loss.

Cataracts 

Cataracts can develop when blood sugar is not well-controlled. These occur when the natural lens of the eye begins to cloud. 

Typically, cataracts are associated with aging. However, cataract growth can be accelerated by diabetes. The only solution to cataracts is cataract surgery. 

Glaucoma 

Glaucoma is a group of several eye conditions that cause damage to your eye’s optic nerve. Often, this damage is caused by consistently high eye pressure. Damage to the optic nerve leads to vision loss. 

Glaucoma can occur in those with diabetes when abnormal blood vessels grow into the natural drainage structures of the eye and prevent fluid from exiting the eye, thus increasing eye pressure.

Proactive Steps for Vision Protection

There’s plenty you can do to safeguard your vision if you have diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise, and eating a balanced diet can regulate your blood sugar. 

If you see any changes in your vision, get in touch with your eye doctor right away so you can obtain an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Early intervention is the best way to preserve your sight. 

Do you want to learn more about diabetic eye disease? Schedule an appointment at EyeHealth Northwest in Portland, OR, today!


We Are Here For You
The safety of our patients, team members and our community is the highest priority at EyeHealth Northwest. Learn more about measures we are taking to keep you safe and what to expect during your visit.
learn more
Schedule an Appointment
Patient Portal
Pay Bill
contact us
Employment Opportunities
Review Us

Our Locations

Aloha
18345 SW Alexander St,
Suite A
Aloha, OR 97003
(503) 642-2505 see more
Glisan
6701 NE Glisan Street
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 255-2291 see more
Gresham
24601 SE Stark St.
Suite 245
Troutdale, OR 97060
(503) 255-2291 see more
Hillsboro
6111 NE Cornell Rd
Hillsboro, OR 97124
(503) 846-9400 see more
Lake Oswego
9 Monroe Parkway, Suite 160
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
(503) 636-2551 see more
Milwaukie
11086 SE Oak St
Milwaukie, OR 97222
(503) 656-4221 see more
Mt. Tabor
5935 SE Division St.
Portland, OR 97206
503 777-5546 see more
Newberg
2318 Portland Rd, Suite 300
Newberg, OR 97132
(503) 538-1341 see more
North Portland
3246 N. Lombard
Portland, OR 97217
(503) 285-1671 see more
Northwest Portland
1955 NW Northrup St
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 227-2020 see more
Oregon City
1306 Division St
Oregon City, OR 97045
(503) 656-4221 see more
Peterkort
9555 SW Barnes Rd.
#201 (2nd floor)
Portland, OR 97225
(503) 227-2020 see more
Providence Portland
5050 NE Hoyt St., Suite 445
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 231-0166 see more
Providence St. Vincent
9135 SW Barnes Rd., Suite 961
Portland, OR 97225
(503) 292-0848 see more
Southeast Portland
10819 SE Stark St,
Portland, OR 97216
(503) 255-2291 see more
Sunnyside
12050 SE Stevens Rd, Suite 100
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(503) 783-3300 see more
Tigard
15298 SW Royalty Parkway
Tigard OR 97224
(503) 227-2020 see more
Wilsonville
29250 SW Town Center Loop W
Wilsonville, OR 97070
(503) 582-0000 see more
Westside Surgery Center
13240 SW Pacific Hwy
Portland, OR 97223
(503) 639-6571 see more
EyeHealth Eastside Surgery and Laser Center
12050 SE Stevens Rd.
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(971) 206-6100 see more

Our Locations

Aloha
18345 SW Alexander St,
Suite A
Aloha, OR 97003
(503) 642-2505 see more
Glisan
6701 NE Glisan Street
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 255-2291 see more
Gresham
24601 SE Stark St.
Suite 245
Troutdale, OR 97060
(503) 255-2291 see more
Hillsboro
6111 NE Cornell Rd
Hillsboro, OR 97124
(503) 846-9400 see more
Lake Oswego
9 Monroe Parkway, Suite 160
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
(503) 636-2551 see more
Milwaukie
11086 SE Oak St
Milwaukie, OR 97222
(503) 656-4221 see more
Mt. Tabor
5935 SE Division St.
Portland, OR 97206
503 777-5546 see more
Newberg
2318 Portland Rd, Suite 300
Newberg, OR 97132
(503) 538-1341 see more
North Portland
3246 N. Lombard
Portland, OR 97217
(503) 285-1671 see more
Northwest Portland
1955 NW Northrup St
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 227-2020 see more
Oregon City
1306 Division St
Oregon City, OR 97045
(503) 656-4221 see more
Peterkort
9555 SW Barnes Rd.
#201 (2nd floor)
Portland, OR 97225
(503) 227-2020 see more
Providence Portland
5050 NE Hoyt St., Suite 445
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 231-0166 see more
Providence St. Vincent
9135 SW Barnes Rd., Suite 961
Portland, OR 97225
(503) 292-0848 see more
Southeast Portland
10819 SE Stark St,
Portland, OR 97216
(503) 255-2291 see more
Sunnyside
12050 SE Stevens Rd, Suite 100
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(503) 783-3300 see more
Tigard
15298 SW Royalty Parkway
Tigard OR 97224
(503) 227-2020 see more
Wilsonville
29250 SW Town Center Loop W
Wilsonville, OR 97070
(503) 582-0000 see more
Surgery Centers

Westside Surgery Center

13240 SW Pacific Hwy
Portland, OR 97223
(503) 639-6571 see more

EyeHealth Eastside Surgery and Laser Center

12050 SE Stevens Rd.
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(971) 206-6100 see more