Blurred vision

Difficulty in focussing, especially when it is variable on a day to day basis is another typical osmotic symptom of diabetes. It is said to be due to variable, osmotically-driven swelling of the lens. Typically a patient with undiagnosed diabetes attends their optician, has some spectacles prescribed and then when collecting them, finds that the prescription is wrong (because meanwhile the degree of hyperglycaemia has changed).

An alternative explanation for visual blurring is diabetic maculopathy although this will usually not fluctuate on a day to day basis like osmotically driven blurring and should be detected before it reaches the symptomatic stage if the patient has been attending regularly for retinal screening.

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