Why do Diabetics Need Eye Exams? Previous item What is Glaucoma? Next item What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Why do Diabetics Need Eye Exams?

September is National Healthy Aging month, as we mentioned in our post about Dry Eye Syndrome (which you can find here). Next, we would like to uncover the importance of eye exams for Diabetic patients. As well as the risks of Diabetic Retinopathy and other Diabetic Eye Diseases.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious condition, where the body fails to produce enough insulin. If not treated and managed it can cause very serious complications. Mismanaged diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney failure, heart disease and even amputation!
 
All diabetics need yearly comprehensive eye exams. Regular eye exams track any damage to the blood vessels and light-sensitive tissue of the eyes. This prevents further damage by keeping a watchful ‘eye’ on the situation.
 
Someone who has Diabetes is at greater risk for developing related eye conditions;
Diabetic Eye Diseases:
  • Diabetic Retinopathy – serious damage to the blood vessels in the back of the eye blocks vision
  • Glaucoma – an increase in pressure in the eye which can lead to nerve damage and vision loss
  • Cataracts – cloudy vision
 Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy:
  • Symptoms often only develop once the disease has reached a serious stage
  • Blurred vision can occur when the macula swells
  • The macula is the part of the eye responsible for crisp vision
  • Blood vessels in the back of the eye become damaged by this swelling and begin to bleed, blocking vision
Retinopathy can progress with no symptoms, sufferers often learn about it after the damage has already occurred. Regular comprehensive eye exams are the best way to maintain eye health!
 
How is Diabetic Retinopathy detected?
 To defend against Diabetic Retinopathy, complete a yearly dilated eye exam. Other diabetic eye diseases such as glaucoma and cataracts are also detected during annual screenings.
 
How to Manage Diabetes and your risk for Diabetic Retinopathy?
  • During your eye exam, you will be given medicated drops to dilate your pupils and view your eyes to check for signs of disease.
    • It is recommended by your eye doctor to have diagnostic testing of your retina yearly; such as Digital Retinal Imaging
  • To decrease the risk of Diabetic Retinopathy, keep all blood sugar, blood pressure, as well as cholesterol levels in check

If you or someone you know has Diabetes, stress the importance of having yearly eye health screenings! Optometrists are trained to diagnose and help prevent conditions such as Diabetic Retinopathy!

We complete comprehensive eye exams and digital retinal imaging on-site in Jacksonville. If you would like to book an appointment to complete an eye exam for yourself or your family click here.

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