Eye Exams & Diabetes
Diabetes affects your whole body, including your eyes. If you have diabetes, you’re more likely to develop certain systemic and ocular issues. There are also ocular diseases that only affect people with diabetes. At a diabetic eye exam, we will take extra care to test you for signs of these diseases:
- Diabetic Retinopathy
- Diabetic Macular Edema
- Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Ocular Diseases Exclusive to Diabetic Patients
Diabetic Retinopathy and Diabetic Macular Edema are both diseases that exclusively affect people with diabetes. Combined, they are the leading cause of blindness in working-age Americans. The best way to protect your vision is to have an eye exam once a year.
High blood sugar levels can damage the small blood vessels in the body over time, including those in your eyes. Diabetic Retinopathy occurs when damaged blood vessels in your eyes begin to break and bleed, leaking blood into the retina and vitreous. Like many serious eye diseases, there may be no symptoms until the situation is advanced. If left unchecked, Diabetic Retinopathy can lead to vision loss and blindness.
Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) occurs in the later stages of Diabetic Retinopathy, and results from fluid leaking under the macula, causing swelling, scarring, and potentially central vision loss.
Regular visits to the optometrist for proper testing, treatment, and management are the best way to protect your eyesight from diabetic eye disease.