Why Diabetic Patients Need Regular Eye Exams

Diabetes is increasingly common around the world. While there is not currently a cure for diabetes, having a supportive care team provides the guidance, monitoring and treatments needed to help diabetics live happier, healthier lives. A trusted eye doctor is a vital member of any diabetic’s care team. In fact, optometrists are often the first health professionals to detect and diagnose the disease. Because serious eye problems are a common complication of diabetes, it’s important for diabetics to schedule regular eye exams.

Complete Eye Care of Medina understands that navigating chronic health conditions like diabetes can feel daunting, but as health care providers we have the resources to make management easier. Whether you have diabetes now or may be at risk for developing it, keep reading for important information about diabetes, vision and how we can help. 

How Diabetes and Vision Are Related

Blurred vision is one of the first symptoms of diabetes, caused by the swelling of the eye lens triggered by rapid changes in blood sugar levels. This is why eye doctors are often the first care providers to diagnose diabetes. As the disease progresses, high levels of sugar in the bloodstream can impact the structure and growth of blood vessels in the eyes. Abnormal, damaged and leaky blood vessels in the eyes are responsible for common visual complications such as glaucoma, macular edema and diabetic retinopathy, which is the leading cause of blindness in American adults. High blood sugar can also cause the eye lens to develop a cloudy buildup, resulting in cataracts. Eye exams enable your optometrists to closely monitor any changes in your blood vessels or vision and work with the rest of your care team to ensure a proper preventative treatment strategy.

Optometrists Have The Right Tools

A key benefit of regular eye exams is that optometrists are able to observe structures that aren’t visible elsewhere in the body without surgical intervention. While medical doctors do check for conspicuous changes in the eyes during visits with their diabetic patients, optometrists have special instrumentation that enables us to take an even closer look at the structures of the eye including the retina and blood vessels. With an ophthalmoscope, an optometrist can see deeply into the retina at the back of the eye. Using a test called a fluorescein angiography, your eye doctor can track changes in retinal blood vessels. The blood vessels in the eye are among the smallest in the body and carry important information about both the progression of diabetes and the potential vision complications it can cause. Optometrists can also effectively check for the development of glaucoma and cataracts. Annual visits with an appropriately equipped optometrist can help preserve your eye health and inform your doctor about key changes. 

Complete Your Diabetic Care Team With Complete Eye Care of Medina 

Complete Eye Care of Medina is equipped with leading optical technology and diagnostic instruments which enable us to observe a variety of eye diseases and other health issues, including diabetes. We take a consultative one-on-one approach to answer any questions or concerns while we work with you to maintain your vision health and manage diabetes and its potential complications. Complete Eye Care of Medina’s comprehensive eye exams will keep you and your care team informed and empowered to pursue appropriate and essential treatments. 

Your vision and overall health are important to us. For comprehensive diagnostic, treatment and corrective services, contact us today to schedule an appointment.