Relationship of Serum Glucose Concentration to Changes in Refraction

  1. Arnold Villarreal, MD
  1. Division of Endocrinology, University of California Irvine

Abstract

The effect of chronic changes in serum glucose concentration on refraction was studied by increasing the dose of insulin or chlorpropamide in 10 diabetic patients who initially had relatively high glucose concentrations. In every case when serum glucose concentration was reduced the vision became less myopic or more hyperopic.

To assess acute changes, 10 diabetics (including four with aphakic eyes) were given an intravenous injection of glucose. In patients with intact lenses the vision became more myopic or less hyperopic following the administration of glucose, but in the aphakic eyes hyperopia increased.

It is concluded from both the acute and chronic studies that higher levels of serum glucose concentration produce myopia and lower levels produce hyperopia. Furthermore, these changes are related to changes in the optical properties of the crystalline lens.

  • Accepted October 30, 1975.
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