Tell us about your symptoms and treatment experience. Take our survey here.

broken glasses

Vision Complications of Type 2 Diabetes

Last updated: February 2023

We surveyed people with type 2 diabetes to better understand vision-related complications and their physical and emotional ramifications. Vision problems can be one of the most frightening complications of diabetes. If not managed properly, they can result in vision loss.

Results from our survey show that people living with diabetes can develop several vision-related complications, namely:

Vision complications include but are not limited to, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma

Not only vision complications

As if vision problems weren’t challenging enough, they’re not the only complications that people with diabetes have to live with. Some of the other diabetes-related complications our survey respondents live with include:

  • Neuropathy (67 percent)
  • Foot problems (63 percent)
  • Heart disease (56 percent)
  • Skin conditions (30 percent)
  • Kidney disease (18 percent)
Other type 2 diabetes complications include but are not limited to, neuropathy, foot problems and heart disease

Impact of vision problems

People living with vision problems have to manage many symptoms. Responses from our survey show that these impacts include:

  • Trouble seeing at night (55 percent)
  • Blurred vision (51 percent)
  • Sensitivity to changes in light (45 percent)
  • Sudden flashes or floaters (32 percent)
  • Eye or head pain (22 percent)
  • Blind spots (11 percent)
  • Double vision (8 percent)

All these symptoms have a significant impact on daily life.

Vision problems make it difficult to read (especially small print), work and drive at night

Treatment for vision problems

Treatment and management of vision problems are extensive. Many survey respondents shared that they have had surgery and take medicines to address their vision problems. Plus, about half of the respondents have made considerable lifestyle changes to manage their vision. Some of the lifestyle changes include:

  • Blood pressure control (95 percent)
  • Wearing eye protection (83 percent)
  • Quit smoking (64 percent)
  • Changing diets (55 percent)
  • Maintaining a healthy weight (54 percent)
  • Exercise (52 percent)
Lifestyle changes to manage vision issues are blood pressure control, eye protection, quit smoking, diet changes and exercise

Blame and regret

Vision problems don’t just affect eyesight. They also have a significant emotional and psychological impact, causing feelings of regret and self-blame.

People felt regret for not managing diabetes properly and felt burned out from managing vision problems along with diabetes

The Type 2 Diabetes Vision Complications survey was conducted online in December of 2018. 148 people living with type 2 diabetes completed the survey

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.

Community Poll

Have you taken our In America Survey yet?