Eyes and diabetes

When I was diagnosed with diabetes 10 years ago I had a blood sugar level of 534 mg/dL. I had lost 25lb and was drinking water and heading to the bathroom constantly. Being an adult I didn’t even suspect diabetes…nobody in my family or relatives has type 1 diabetes. It was quite a shock to learn that I was going to give injections to myself for the rest of my life.

As soon as I started on insulin, one thing pleasantly surprised me and, temporarily at least, I thought that there was at least one upside to the disease. I had been wearing glasses to correct my myopia since my teenage years and one day - about a month after beginning my insulin shots - I discovered that I had 20/20 or better vision in both eyes!! I was ecstatic! But the doctor didn’t have a clue about how that happened.

But I rejoiced too soon because a couple of months later I was back to wearing my glasses. To this day I have not seen any explanation for my brief 20/20 eyesight.

Does anybody else have such experiences?

Hi John,
I had the same thing happen, I was Dx’ed in aug. /08 DKA BG 672 @ 52 years old. My vision was really messed up, but for a short time I was able to read without glasses. It was nice while it lasted as been 10 years since I could read without glasses.

I’d never heard of this until a member mentioned his experience - here -

I should have searched for it, I guess :-). Thanks, Marie, for pointing out the post about this phenomenon.

that’s ok, John, I just happened to remember reading it and thought maybe you could benefit.

I am new diagnosed and have the same effect so I asked my consultant. The link is correct except it is sorbitol (which metabolised from excess glucose) rather than glucose itself which is deposited in the lens. The effect is the same but sorbitol isn’t water soluble so it takes a while to leach out when your blood sugar is back under control. Normally I wear glasses and it’s very odd to get your eyesight back.

Here’s my theory. I’m not a doctor, but I read a lot… and I have a large imagination… hehe.
When BG is high, it causes the blood vessels to become brittle, especially in the delicate eyes. When they’re brittle, they break- and they also grow in “haywire” directions that don’t always meet an end in the retina. So, you’ve got all these “dead end” roads in your eyes- caused from the high BG levels.

When your BG suddenly goes down, the veins relax, blood flows through again and the dead end veins begin to get cleared up.

However, the damage was done over the prior years and when the eye system is completely relaxed again, it will go back to the way it felt “normal”. Kind of like when someone loses weight- you’re thin for a few months, but eventually the body wants to go back to the “normal” way it was, and it’s easy to gain the weight back.

Also, I’m not sure if you know this, but… if you’re going in for a check up eye exam, check your BG first. When your BG is over 150, your eyes will appear worse than when your BG is 80. If you get the prescription while you’re 200, when your BG goes back down to normal range, your glasses won’t appear to be working.

I was almost legally blind towards the end of elementary school- right before i was dx’ed. after- perfect vision minus some night blindness. probably a sign my bs was going up