Type 1 diabetes and cataracts

By LauraJD Latest Reply 2013-11-07 12:35:41 -0600
Started 2013-11-01 11:40:45 -0500

Hi everyone, I'm new to this app/forum.
Recently I saw my eye doctor for my yearly dilation and check-up. He noticed that the lens in my eyes have changed which he said is the "infantile" stage of developing cataracts.

Now, my a1c has never been over 6.9 since I was diagnosed eight years ago. I've never had any issues or complications prior to this. He mentioned that I should be wearing good quality sunglasses when I'm outside in order to protect against the UV rays.

My question is, does being diabetic make us susceptible to cataracts even with A1C in the recommended range?
If anyone could shed some light on this I'd be grateful :)

6 replies

Young1s 2013-11-03 10:29:52 -0600 Report

Hello LauraJD. When I was diagnosed with type 2 two years ago, one of the things that my primary doctor stressed to me was to keep up with my eye appointments. I thought at first, why am I having to worry about this so early in my stage? But the fact is, even though I only learned when I was a diabetic, that doesn't change the fact that I was a diabetic longer than that. And therefore, my eye issues were in full effect longer than I knew about them. If you get my drift.

So I eventually went to see my eye doc. She assured me that my eyes were in good health and the blurriness that I experience during the evening is normal as a diabetic. And that I probably will need glasses in the future but have about 3-4 years time before that happens.

Well, I'm not so sure about that analysis. My eyes are starting to get blurry a lot earlier in the day now. I even had the ocassional white floater. Not a good sign in my opinion. On top of that, my eye doc sent out a letter stating that she was leaving clinic where I go to see her. So when I called to make an appoinment with the new person on staff, the only date I could get was in the middle of December.

So, yeah, I'm just as concerned about cateracts as you are. That will be one of my very first questions I ask. I am a visual person and fear the loss of sight.

jigsaw 2013-11-03 09:27:35 -0600 Report

I know that constant exposure to UV rays can bring on cataracts, so sunglasses with UV protection is important. I've never heard of cataracts being caused by diabetes, but constant hi blood glucose can cause small capillaries in the eye to burst. This of course is damaging to ones vision, and can cause blindness. Many people get cataracts, especially if they live long enough. Fortunately, the medical procedure to remove them is a painless one day procedure. My wife had it done recently, and like any surgical procedure, it's a bit frightening, but it was quick, painless, and successful.

Khürt Williams
Khürt Williams 2013-11-07 12:35:41 -0600 Report

My endo has stated clearly to me that cataracts do not occur more often in people with diabetes than the general population. In other words diabetes != cataracts.

LauraJD 2013-11-03 19:44:26 -0600 Report

Yes, definitely have to invest in a good pair of sunglasses.. I've always worn those cheap $12 pairs that claim to offer UVB protection but in reality don't do much.
The strange thing is that I'm only 21, so he mentioned it was unusual for someone my age to be experiencing changes to the lens.
It's great that they've made the procedure to remove cataracts so painless and efficient though! Glad it worked out for your wife.