Diabetes is a systemic condition that can impact your vision and eye health. As such, individuals with diabetes have unique eye care needs and are more likely to develop serious ocular conditions and vision-threatening eye diseases, including glaucoma.
To help safeguard your vision, people with diabetes should have a comprehensive eye exam at least once per year. However, depending on your unique situation, your optometrist may recommend that you visit more frequently.
Do you need a diabetic eye exam?
Diabetes & Your Eyes
Did you know that the first signs of diabetes can be discovered during an eye exam? That is just one of the many reasons you should get your eyes checked regularly. Individuals with diabetes are also more susceptible to a variety of serious eye conditions, including:
- Diabetic Retinopathy: Diabetic retinopathy affects the small blood vessels in the retina, and causes them to leak blood and other fluids. If left untreated, it can lead to vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of vision loss among individuals with diabetes. Smoking increases your chances of developing diabetic retinopathy.
- Cataracts: Those with diabetes are between 2 and 5 times more likely to develop cataracts than people without diabetes. They are also more likely to develop cataracts at a younger age than individuals without diabetes.
- Glaucoma: Glaucoma is a condition that damages the optic nerve. If left untreated, it can cause permanent blindness. While most forms of glaucoma are caused by high intraocular pressure (high pressure within your eye), glaucoma can occur even if your eye pressure is normal. Individuals with diabetes are nearly twice as likely to develop glaucoma as those without diabetes.
People with diabetes are also more likely to experience blurry vision, fluctuating prescriptions, and double vision.
Diabetic Eye Exams
Since diabetic eyes are more susceptible to several serious eye conditions, they require special care and attention. Eyesis Eyecare Center offers eye exams specially tailored to address the needs of patients with diabetes.
There are two parts to a diabetic comprehensive eye exam: The routine eye exam, which is self-paid by the patient, and the health portion of the exam, which is fully covered by Alberta Health Care for diabetic patients.
We use specialized tests and equipment during our diabetic eye exams, including dilated fundus exams, retinal photography, and Zeiss optical coherence tomography (OCT).
If you have either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, you should have your eyes examined at least once per year. This holds true even if your blood sugar is well controlled and you are not currently experiencing any problems with your sight, eye health, or overall health.
Are you due for an eye exam?