Diabetes is a common medical condition in which the body is incapable of properly using and storing glucose, a type of sugar that is needed to produce energy and carry out other important bodily functions. As a result, glucose accumulates, causing the blood sugar to exceed normal levels and resulting in a host of complications. One area of the body that is frequently affected by diabetes is the eyes. This is why diabetic eye exams are so important.
Without proper care, diabetes can lead to serious vision loss and even blindness. In fact, it is the number one cause of blindness amongst adults aged 20-74. Individuals who suffer from diabetes are also at a higher risk of other ocular conditions, such as glaucoma and cataracts. This risk can be reduced by working with a qualified vision care professional, like Dr. Partnow.
When we can thoroughly examine your eyes at least once a year, we can identify the signs of a potential problem early, before it has a chance to develop and worsen. This is especially important, because diabetic eye problems are often painless and therefore continue to worsen undetected.
A diabetic screening is similar to a regular, comprehensive eye exam, except that it also involves dilation of the eyes, which enlarges the pupil. This enables us to get a better look at the retina so we can inspect it for signs of retinopathy and other diabetes-related damage. Diabetic eye exams also include a tonometry test, which involves a quick burst of air into the eye to measure fluid pressure.
While an annual eye exam is an important part of diabetes management, there are certain things you can and should be doing at home, in between visits, to manage your ocular health. Specifically, you should monitor yourself for certain signs and symptoms that could indicate a potential problem. These symptoms include:
If you notice any of these things, don’t wait until your annual appointment to come in. Give us a call and we’ll schedule you right away.
At Five Parks Vision and Eye Care, we are concerned about more than just your visual health. We also care about your total wellness. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, or have a family history and are predisposed to the condition, contact our office. We can help develop a preventative vision care plan that’s right for you and provide a diabetic exam letter to your primary care or endocrinologist.