Diabetes affects our bodies in a variety of ways and plays a role in our vision and eye health. Individuals with diabetes have special visual and eye health needs, requiring that they see their optometrist at least once per year.
Diabetes and Your Eye Health
In its early stages, before you have any other symptoms, diabetes may first be detected and diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam, so regular eye exams are an essential part of your overall health care strategy. Diabetes can impact your eye health in a variety of ways. Diabetes related eye conditions include:
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Frequent prescription fluctuations
- Diabetic Retinopathy: Individuals with diabetes are more likely to develop a set of conditions referred to as diabetic retinopathy. This umbrella term covers non proliferative retinopathy, proliferative retinopathy, and diabetic macular edema.
- Cataracts: Though most of us will develop cataracts as we age, individuals with diabetes are 60% more likely to develop cataracts than individuals without diabetes, and are significantly more likely to develop cataracts at a young age.
- Glaucoma: Individuals with diabetes are 40% more likely to develop glaucoma than individuals who do not have diabetes.
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the delicate blood vessels in the eye, which supply the retinal tissue with oxygen, become weakened or inflamed. Fluid accumulation beneath the macula is called diabetic macular edema).
Diabetic retinopathy is a serious condition. If it is not treated promptly, your retinal blood vessels may become seriously damaged. If this occurs, your eye may try to replace the unhealthy vessels by growing new ones, but these vessels are typically weak and may allow blood to leak into other areas of the retina (a condition called proliferative diabetic retinopathy).
If diabetic retinopathy is allowed to progress, it can result in permanent vision loss and even blindness.
Early on, diabetic retinopathy typically does not exhibit noticeable symptoms, making it undetectable without a comprehensive eye exam. This is why those who know they have diabetes require annual diabetic eye exams are as critical component of their health care strategy.
Are you due for your annual diabetic eye exam? Schedule your appointment today.
Diabetic Eye Exams
Since diabetic eyes require specialized care and attention OPMT Vision Centers are proud to offer diabetic eye exams. Individuals with diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) should see their optometrist at least once per year, even if their blood sugar is under control and they are not experiencing any eye or health-related problems.
OPMT Vision Centers use cutting edge technology for the diagnosis and management of ocular diseases. Some of the equipment we use to better serve patients with diabetes include fundus photography, Visual Evoked Potential (VEP) testing, Electroretinography (ERG), Topcon Maestro Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), and Visual Field testing.