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Quality Health Care and You - Diabetes

Blurred Vision Due to Diabetes?

12/09/2008

Question:

My father was diagnosed diabetic for 8 years now. He is taking a maintenance medicine since then but he is not monitoring his sugar level until he suffered from blurry vision. We are afraid that he might be blind because his vision got worse in 3weeks time. He was hospitalized for a week. His retina doctor told us its not a retina related problem, and it might be problem in the brain, so an MRI was done to immediately check, but MRI shown positive result. Then retinatography was done. Still all result are normal (except for his blood sugar at 180). Last exam was done to check his nerve to brain, to arm, and feet connection (forgot the name of the exam). The result shows bit abnormalities of the responses in the nerve cell which cause the delay in his eye to brain (as per doctor). So a nuerologist suggest for a steroid therapy in which boosted his sugar level almost 3 times the normal (340). After 7 days, 6 hours a day of steroid therapy no improvement was noticed.

QUESTION - Is the treatment right? Should he continue the steroid? What do you think is the real problem? I`m thinking that his blurred vision is only due to his high sugar level and that once controlled his vision will return to normal as discussed in other topics in the web.

Many thanks in advance.

Answer:

It sure sounds like your father has had an extensive evaluation. Having fluctuations in glucose levels is a common reason why people with diabetes have blurred vision -- swelling occurs in the lens of the eye, causing the blurring. Normally good control of the sugar helps improve the vision with time. I would encourage your father to see an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) expert in taking care of diabetic eyes. I can not comment on the treatment by your doctors as I am unsure what they are treating. It is critical, though, for your father to have good control of his glucose and blood pressure, which can impact the vision of his eye.

For more information:

Go to the Quality Health Care and You - Diabetes health topic, where you can:

Response by:

W. Fred Miser, MD W. Fred Miser, MD
Associate Professor of Family Medicine
Director of Ohio State Medicine Residency Program
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University