Diabetic Cataract

in StemSocial3 months ago

Greetings to all and sundry,

It is another beautiful day today and a wonderful opportunity to come your way with yet another interesting topic concerning our ocular health for us to discuss. I do hope you enjoy our previous session on Ocular Deviation and that you learned a thing or two from it.


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For out discussion today we would be looking at a very common disease that is a global headache and one of its effects its having on the eye. This particular condition of the eye is a leading cause of blindness and one that can easily be managed when uncompromised. So let's get right to it.


Diabetes is a global canker that health practitioners across the globe are doing so much to curb in terms of education and medicine. It is a condition where the body's ability to utilize glucose and save for later usage through conversion to storageable form is affected. This may come about as a result of anatomical anomaly during growth and development as in the case of type I diabetes or physiological malfuction through aging as in the case of type II diabetes.


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This results in too much glucose been available in our blood. Glucose is naturally not meant to be in our blood in large quantities and so when this happens it tends to disrupt the entire system throwing cells and tissues into mayhem. Their concentration affect the movement of water and substances in and out of cells as the rules of Osmosis and diffusion stipulates.

This results in the death of cells and tissues over time, throwing our entire system off balance. Due to the fragile nature of the eye, the effect of diabetes also goes on to affect it in diverse ways one of which is our topic for discussion today, diabetic cataract. The eye naturally has a crystalline lens inside ought to remain transparent to enable us see well. As we grow older the transparency of this lens is affected as it becomes translucent and later on opaque.

This is known as senile cataract and takes years to progress, there are many individuals who never get to even experience a fully grown cataract in their eyes throughout their entire lifespan however when diabetes comes in things change drastically.

Diabetic Cataract

In diabetic Cataract what happens is that the senile process of cataract development is altered and accelerated drastically such that changes that would have been expected within a time frame of a decade could be seen in half a decade or even less depending on how well one may be managing their condition.


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What happens is that the glucose which goes into the eye and the crystalline lens end up been converted to a more damaging form called sorbitol, under normal conditions and processes vitamin C and other antioxidants within the eye could have taken care of such reactions to make things better for the eye however due to the excess amount of glucose available they get overwhelmed and thus are not able to do much.

And so the sorbitol accumulates and causes the cells of the lens to break down and agglutinate thus resulting in opacity of the lens, As this process continues the opacity progresses until that point of matured cataract or morganian cataract is reached. At this point the lens liquifies and may end up mixing up with the vitreous humor and other liquids within the eye. This may make interventions difficult and more complicated.

This may result in loss of vision if not dealt with earlier, and for those who are lucky enough to have surgical intervention before this point is reached, they mostly end up with another condition known as posterior subcapsular opacity due to the glucose availability in excess. And so diabetes can very much be a headache for your eye and sight.


The management of diabetic cataract stems from the management of the systemic diabetes conditions since the cataract formation is more or less and side effect of the diabetes condition. Thus, management is team effort between your Optometrist, Your Ophthalmologist and Your general physician. You may be given some eye supplements filled with antioxidants to help combant the reactions that may be going on in the eye however most of the heavy lifting would have to be done by your general physician in managing your diabetes.


Any surgical intervention that may be needed would have to be dealt with by your Ophthalmologist and co-observed by your Optometrist. In the case of complications or the development of posterior subcapsular opacities you may need lasik surgery to help make things better. However, i am certain that at this point in time you would agree with me that managing your glucose level well may just make all the difference in keeping your eye from getting worse developing this condition generally.

As i conclude, i would like to once again say a big thank you to you my dear reader for spending your time to read what i had to share with you today. I look forward to seeing you around and as always feel free to ask questions or for clarifications. Stay safe and have a great weekend ahead.

Further Reading

Amoaku WM, Ghanchi F, Bailey C, Banerjee S, Banerjee S, Downey L, Gale R, Hamilton R, Khunti K, Posner E, Quhill F, Robinson S, Setty R, Sim D, Varma D, Mehta H. Diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular oedema pathways and management: UK Consensus Working Group. Eye (Lond). 2020 Jun;34(Suppl 1):1-51. doi: 10.1038/s41433-020-0961-6. Erratum in: Eye (Lond). 2020 Oct;34(10):1941-1942. PMID: 32504038; PMCID: PMC7337227..

Lim JC, Caballero Arredondo M, Braakhuis AJ, Donaldson PJ. Vitamin C and the Lens: New Insights into Delaying the Onset of Cataract. Nutrients. 2020 Oct 14;12(10):3142. doi: 10.3390/nu12103142. PMID: 33066702; PMCID: PMC7602486.

Kiziltoprak H, Tekin K, Inanc M, Goker YS. Cataract in diabetes mellitus. World J Diabetes. 2019 Mar 15;10(3):140-153. doi: 10.4239/wjd.v10.i3.140. PMID: 30891150; PMCID: PMC6422859.


I never knew diabetic cataract is a thing. This is quite educative.

Thank you bro, there are many of causes of cataract and each of them have their own pathophysiology which I would try to tackle over the cause of time. I’m glad you found it educative.

Catract is probably the minor problems of a diabetic person but still is bad for life quality


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Scary blog, @nattybongo. Diabetes runs in my family. Reminds me to get not only my eyes checked, but my blood checked also. (I still haven't gone to the doctors since the last time I commented many months ago). Your blogs are valuable reminders that doctors don't make us sick, but not going may make us sicker 😇

Hello @agmoore,

It is also a pleasure to hear from you, sorry about the scare, that’s wasn’t my intention though, only trying to get my readers to comprehend the realities out there.

I’d plead that even if you are doing well with your diabtetes management you ought to go in for a check just to be sure that all is well in the eye.

Diabtetes not only make one prone to cataract formation and development but also make patients susceptible to the development of conditions such as Dry Eyes, diabetic retinopathy and even glaucoma, just to mendion a few.

I would do well to treat the pathophysiology of these over time for your benefit until then I would be looking forward to the good news of your visit to the Optometrist😊. Kindly keep me updated on that, stay safe and have a blessed weekend😉

You are so kind, @nattybongo,

I don't have diabetes (as far as I know) but my siblings do, and my father did. Given my age, it would be wise to be tested. Right now, I try to eat an anti-diabetes diet😄, but I really should find out.

Thank you for your kind words and good advice. I wish you the best luck in your practice, and with your patients.

It is a pleasure to be of help always, since you do have a family history of diabetes do get tested just to be sure, anti diabetic diet is still healthy though😂😂😂, but don’t miss out on all the great foods😅.

Thanks you too for appreciating my work, I’m truly grateful 😊, all the best Sir