Diabetes & Double/Impaired Vision- Interesting

LadyDi - 26259Miller
By LadyDi - 26259Miller Latest Reply 2009-02-02 02:20:30 -0600
Started 2009-02-01 17:19:50 -0600

What has been your experience, if any, with Vision Fluctuation and/or Double Vision?

Double vision: People with diabetes may complain about sudden onset of double images. Because this can be due to damage to the nerves from the brain to the eye, it is important to see an optometrist or ophthalmologist immediately.

This symptom can be misinterpreted by the patient or by a non-eye care provider unfamiliar with this ocular complication as a sign of a stroke or other neurological problem, prompting unnecessary diagnostic procedures such as radiological exams.

Double vision (or diplopia) may instead be due to mononeuropathy—damage to a single nerve—usually cranial nerves III, IV, or VI. The sixth and third nerves are most frequently affected. Third-nerve palsies occur with pupillary sparing in 80% of cases. Most diabetic third-nerve palsies usually resolve spontaneously within 2 to 3 months and the symptom of double vision can often be controlled with the use of special lenses.

Vision fluctuation: Poor control of blood glucose levels can lead to a fluctuation in vision. These temporary visual fluctuations occur because of fluid imbalance in the crystalline lens. When the glucose level is elevated, the lens thickens, causing vision changes that may increase nearsightedness or farsightedness. When the glucose level returns to normal, the lens can shrink back to its normal state.

For those who need glasses, if the glucose level is poorly controlled, the constant state of flux can make it difficult to determine the best lenses.


12 replies

Petrea 2009-02-02 02:20:30 -0600 Report

Years ago I went to my opthamologist for a new prescription (this was before I started on insulin). It took the lab about 3 weeks or so before I got my new lenses & when the optician fitted my glasses to me I was really dizzy & couldn't hardly cope wearing them. He assured me that it was the correct strength for me & that such a big change would make me feel dizzy. I tolerated it for about a week or 2 & called my dr. He asked me if I kept a log book of my bs & to bring it in with me when I came for my appt. He did another exam & then went over the bs with me. We discovered during the week that I had been in to see him I had been having high bs. They had come back down when I have my re exam which changed my prescription again. This was a big wake-up call for me as I had not realized before what the bs did to your body when it fluctuates like that.

Avera 2009-02-01 23:06:48 -0600 Report

I have not had any problems with "double vision" but have had the "vision fluctuations" from time to time. I had been told they were caused by sugar spikes so I am aware of what is happening when the fluctuations occur. Some people say they are having a bad hair day. When my vision fluctuations happen I say I am having a bad eye day. lol

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-02-01 23:13:57 -0600 Report

In reading the entire article it told of a young woman who experienced the fluctuations, but hers was due to extremely low BS, so it appears that either extreme can precipitate it. Good to know, because, like that young lady, it could frighten you badly if that suddenly happened as it did with her.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-02-01 18:09:59 -0600 Report

I particularly thought it important to note that the symptoms could be mistaken for a stroke or neurological problem. Also that one might have trouble getting the right prescription for glasses because of the fluctuation problem. It's always something, isn't it?

2009-02-01 17:39:24 -0600 Report

This is interesting. My dad suffers from
myasthenia gravis, extreme droopy eyelids or your eyes close completely. He was diagnosed in October and it literally came on over night. He was in remission but it flared back up this week. His doctor said "you MUST be diabetic." After doing all the testing, thank God, he's not diabetic. But this makes me wonder about your "Gene" discussion again. I have double vision on ocassion and have not had my eyes checked in 10 years. I only need glasses to drive, but now I think with my dad's problem and after reading this, it's time to see the eye doctor and get new glasses! Thanks for some great information! Angie

2009-02-01 17:55:03 -0600 Report

Now that you've been diagnosed with Diabetes you should have an 'annual' Diabetic eye exam, no more going 10 years!! . They look at the nerves behind the eye and other things. I'm going to the Opthamologist on Thursday this week for mine. The testing is covered under medical insurance not vision insurance if you have either or both.


2009-02-01 18:02:40 -0600 Report

I am calling the eye doc tomorrow! I was putting it off just because I didn't think I needed to go and I'm stubborn! :(
I bet my vision has changed just a little in 10 years and after being diagnosed with diabetes! LOL Thank you, I promise I'm going! Angie

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-02-01 18:05:19 -0600 Report

Most definitely. You need to do that as soon as you're able. I know you're not working right now, but it really is something that you need to do ASAP.

I found this very interesting too. Hope you clicked on the link and read the article, because there's quite a bit of interest that I didn't even try to put in the discussion.

sparkysmom 2009-02-01 17:24:26 -0600 Report

I have trouble with my eyes sometimes and I see an opthamologist for it. He told me to try and get my BS under control to remedy the problem.

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