Sweet hyperopia: refractive changes in acute hyperglycemia

Eur J Ophthalmol. 2006 Sep-Oct;16(5):663-6. doi: 10.1177/112067210601600501.


Purpose: A prospective study was performed to evaluate refractive and ocular biometric changes in acute hyperglycemic status in patients with diabetes mellitus.

Methods: From January to August 2002, 48 eyes of 24 patients with persistent diabetes and a plasma glucose level>or=17 mmol/L or HbA1c>or=10.0% on admission were enrolled in this prospective study. Upon admission to Tri-Service General Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan, these patients underwent intensive glycemic control. The basic ophthalmic examinations, including visual acuity, intraocular pressure measurement, slit lamp, and fundus examinations, were conducted. The ocular parameters including refraction, anterior chamber depth, lens thickness, axial length, mean keratometry, and thinnest corneal thickness were evaluated by A-mode scan and Orbscan II. Each patient underwent clinical follow-up visits at 1, 2, and 4 weeks after the acute hyperglycemic episode.

Results: Of the 24 patients, 18 were male and 6 were female. The mean age of the patients was 55 years (range: 38 to 69). Comparing the refractive status on admission and at week 4, the authors found that 8 cases (16 eyes, 33%) showed hyperopia during hyperglycemia (+1.9+/-0.8 D), but in the other 16 cases (32 eyes, 67%), there were no significant changes. In addition, there were also no significant changes in anterior chamber depth, lens thickness, axial length, thinnest corneal thickness, or mean keratometry in the follow-up period.

Conclusions: Transitory hyperglycemia produces hyperopia. The alteration in refractive index in the lens may contribute to the hyperopic change, but no change of ocular biometrics in lens or cornea is observed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cornea / diagnostic imaging
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / blood
  • Hyperglycemia / complications*
  • Hyperglycemia / physiopathology
  • Hyperopia / diagnostic imaging
  • Hyperopia / etiology*
  • Hyperopia / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Refraction, Ocular / physiology*
  • Ultrasonography


  • Blood Glucose