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How do you get rid of blurry vision due to high blood sugar?

Blurry vision can be a common symptom of high blood sugar levels. Here are some quick answers to key questions about dealing with blurry vision from high blood sugar:

What causes blurry vision when you have high blood sugar?

High blood sugar causes the lens of the eye to swell and change shape. This affects the ability of the lens to bend light properly, resulting in blurry vision. The medical term for this condition is diabetic retinopathy.

How long does the blurry vision last?

For many people, vision will return to normal once blood sugar levels are brought back into the target range. However, if high blood sugars persist for a long time, permanent vision changes can occur. That’s why it’s important to treat high blood sugar promptly.

What should you do if you have blurry vision from high blood sugar?

Here are some steps to take if you experience blurry vision from high blood sugar levels:

  • Check your blood sugar and treat accordingly if elevated – this may include taking insulin or other glucose-lowering medication, exercising, etc.
  • Contact your doctor – they may want to evaluate your eyes and adjust medications.
  • Avoid driving until vision clears.
  • Be patient – it may take hours to days for vision to return to normal.

How can you prevent blurry vision from high blood sugar?

The best way to prevent blurry vision is to maintain good control of your blood sugars within your target ranges. Here are some tips:

  • Check blood sugar regularly and treat highs promptly.
  • Follow your meal plan and take all diabetes medications as prescribed.
  • Get regular A1C tests to monitor overall blood sugar control.
  • Attend regular eye exams to monitor for any eye changes from diabetes.
  • Control other health conditions like high blood pressure.

When should you seek emergency care for blurry vision?

In most cases, blurry vision will resolve once blood sugar is lowered. However, seek emergency care if you experience:

  • Sudden, severe vision changes or vision loss
  • Eye pain, redness, discharge or swelling
  • Seeing spots, floaters or flashes of light
  • Veil or curtain over your field of vision
  • Difficulty seeing colors properly

These signs can indicate a more serious eye problem that needs prompt treatment.

Can blurry vision from diabetes be permanent?

If high blood sugar levels persist for a long time, permanent visual changes can occur, including:

  • Blurry vision that does not go away
  • Trouble reading small print
  • Poor night vision
  • Needing stronger glasses prescriptions more often
  • Impaired color vision
  • Dark or empty spots in vision (floater-like lesions)
  • Vision loss due to retinopathy or macular edema

That’s why early detection and treatment of eye problems is so important. Regular dilated eye exams allow detection of any eye changes in their earliest stages.

Can you reverse or improve blurry vision from diabetes?

If you catch it early, some eye damage from diabetes may be partially reversible through tight blood sugar control or medical treatment. However, permanent vision changes cannot be reversed. Treatments that may help reverse or prevent further vision loss include:

  • Tight blood sugar control
  • Medications like anti-VEGF injections or steroids
  • Laser surgery
  • Vitrectomy surgery

Work closely with your endocrinologist and ophthalmologist to optimize diabetes management and monitor eyes for damage. This offers the best chance of preserving vision.

What medications can help with blurry vision from diabetes?

While no medications specifically treat blurry vision itself, medications may be used to treat underlying eye conditions contributing to vision problems. Some options include:

  • Anti-VEGF injections like ranibizumab (Lucentis), aflibercept (Eylea), or bevacizumab (Avastin) can help treat diabetic macular edema.
  • Steroids like triamcinolone or dexamethasone, which may be injected around the eye or implanted in a sustained-release device.
  • Fenofibrate – this cholesterol medication may also help prevent diabetic retinopathy progression.

Talk to your eye doctor about whether these medications may be appropriate for your situation.

What lifestyle changes help with diabetes-related blurry vision?

Making certain lifestyle adjustments can aid in preventing blurry vision and reducing your risk of permanent eye damage:

  • Carefully managing your blood sugar levels through monitoring, medication, diet and exercise.
  • Controlling blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Eating a healthy diet rich in eye-healthy nutrients like vitamins C and E, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, zeaxanthin and lutein.
  • Quitting smoking – smoking makes diabetic eye disease worse.
  • Exercising regularly to lower blood sugar, blood pressure and help eyes stay healthy.
  • Protecting eyes from UV light by wearing sunglasses outside.
  • Getting regular, comprehensive eye exams to monitor for early signs of eye disease.

When should someone with diabetes get their eyes examined?

The American Diabetes Association recommends the following eye exam schedule for people with diabetes:

Age Eye Exam Frequency
Under 40 Every 2-3 years (unless doctor recommends more frequently)
Over 40 Every 1-2 years
Pregnant Eye exam before becoming pregnant if not done in prior year, then exams in first trimester, at 28 weeks pregnant, and again 6-12 weeks postpartum

Some people, especially those with longstanding diabetes or poor blood sugar control, may need more frequent eye exams to monitor for diabetic retinopathy or other eye problems.

Can you drive with blurry vision from diabetes?

It is not recommended to drive if you are experiencing blurry vision from high blood sugar levels. Blurry vision can profoundly affect your ability to see clearly and respond to hazards on the road. Driving with substantial vision impairment puts you and others at risk for an accident.

Wait until your vision has fully returned to normal before attempting to drive again. This may take hours or a few days. If blurry vision persists longer than this, see an eye doctor promptly to determine if any eye damage has occurred.

Long term, follow your eye doctor’s recommendations on if and when it is safe to drive based on your degree of visual impairment from diabetic retinopathy. Some states require periodic vision tests to renew a driver’s license for those with eye diseases. For the safety of yourself and others, do not drive unless your vision meets the minimum requirements.

What kind of eye doctor treats blurry vision from diabetes?

An ophthalmologist is the type of eye doctor who diagnoses and treats eye diseases like diabetic retinopathy that can cause blurry vision. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialize in diseases and surgery of the eye.

Seeing an ophthalmologist is recommended over an optometrist for diabetes-related vision problems, as they can provide more advanced medical testing and treatment. Make sure your ophthalmologist has expertise in managing diabetic retinopathy.

Your primary care doctor or endocrinologist may refer you to an ophthalmologist when you develop diabetes-related vision problems. Promptly consult an ophthalmologist if you experience any new vision changes.

How is blurry vision from diabetes diagnosed?

An ophthalmologist can perform various tests during a comprehensive eye exam to diagnose the cause of your blurry vision. Diagnostic tests may include:

  • Visual acuity test – checks sharpness of vision at various distances.
  • Refraction – determines prescription glasses needed to correct refractive errors like nearsightedness.
  • Pupil dilation – drops are used to widen the pupils to allow thorough examination of the retina.
  • Eye pressure test – measures internal eye pressure.
  • Retinal imaging – takes detailed pictures of the retina to detect abnormalities.
  • Blood tests – may help rule out other causes like infection.

These tests help pinpoint whether diabetes is affecting the eye and causing vision changes. The results also guide appropriate treatment.

What are the most common causes of blurry vision in people with diabetes?

Some common causes of blurry vision related to diabetes include:

  • Diabetic retinopathy – damage to the blood vessels and nerves in the retina due to high blood sugar.
  • Diabetic macular edema – swelling in the macula portion of the retina.
  • Cataracts – clouding of the eye’s lenses common in diabetes.
  • Refractive errors like nearsightedness or farsightedness.
  • Dry eyes – reduced tear production and dryness.
  • Glaucoma – increased eye pressure damages the optic nerve.

Diabetic retinopathy is the most concerning cause, as it can lead to severe vision loss over time. That’s why regular eye screening exams are so important for those with diabetes to detect any problems early.

What are symptoms of blurred vision not related to high blood sugar?

Sometimes blurred vision may result from other eye problems unrelated to diabetes and high blood sugar. Symptoms that suggest an issue not directly related to blood sugar levels include:

  • Blurriness in just one eye
  • Very sudden onset of substantially blurred vision
  • Eye pain or discomfort
  • Seeing halos, spots, floaters or flashes
  • Loss of side vision or curtain-like obstruction of vision
  • Redness, discharge or swelling of the eye

These types of symptoms, especially if severe or persistent, often indicate another ocular condition requiring prompt medical attention. Some possibilities include eye infections, glaucoma, retinal detachment, cataracts, or retinoblastoma in children.


In summary, blurry vision can often arise from high blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Promptly lowering elevated blood sugars, seeing an ophthalmologist for evaluation, optimizing diabetes management, and adhering to recommended eye exams are keys to reversing temporary blurriness and preventing permanent visual damage over time. With proper care and monitoring, vision can be preserved and diabetic complications avoided despite having diabetes.