Diabetic Eye Exams

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Diabetic Eye Exams

How does Diabetes affect your vision?

 

Diabetes is a medical condition that can affect your entire body, including the very small blood vessels in the back of your eyes.  Depending on your blood sugar control your vision can range from very good to blindness.   When diabetes starts to affect your eyes, you may have swelling or altered blood vessel growth in the retina (light sensing organ in the back of the eye). These changes are called diabetic retinopathy.  

 

Who gets diabetic retinopathy?

Both patients with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes may suffer from diabetic retinopathy. The longer you have diabetes and the worse your blood sugar is controlled, the more likely you are to develop visual issues due to diabetes. 

 

Why is getting diabetic eye exams important?

The initial changes in your eyes from diabetes may be asymptomatic but can progress over time leading to profound vision loss.  Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of blindness in working age adults.   Having a dilated eye exam with one of our experienced doctors will lead to early recognition and can lead to prevention of permanent vision loss.   We also communicate all of our findings directly with your primary care doctor to help ensure that your diabetes is taken care of in the best way possible. 

What are the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy?

  • Initially there may be no symptoms

  • Fluctuations in vision with changes in your blood sugar

  • Constant blurred vision

  • Straight lines no longer look straight, but may be wavy

  • Flashes

  • Floaters

 

How often should I have my eye examined?

 

Diabetic patients should have a complete dilated eye exam once a year to ensure the health of their eyes.  If there are diabetic changes found in one or both eyes then multiple visits per year may be necessary.  If treatment is required to help prevent vision loss from diabetes, then a referral to  a retina specialist is necessary. 

 

Schedule an appointment today for a complete evaluation.