Cataracts is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins Diabetes Guide.

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DEFINITION

  • A clouding or opacity of the natural crystalline lens of the eye.
  • When glucose increases in the lens (as in hyperglycemic states), the sorbitol pathway is activated more than glycolysis; sorbitol accumulates and is retained in the lens.
  • Along with sorbitol, fructose also builds up in a lens surrounded by a high glucose environment.
  • These two sugars increase the osmotic pressure within the lens, drawing in water.
  • The result is swelling of the lens fibers, disruption of the normal cytoskeletal architecture, and ultimately, lens opacification [1].

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Last updated: January 3, 2015