Unlike a routine eye exam that assesses your visual system and eye health, anyone who was diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes requires an additional test for their eye exam. Traditionally, everyone had their pupils dilated in order to get a clear picture of the eye, however, with modern advances in technology, Morgan Vision has added a digital retinal exam as well. We do not need to do the air puffer exam anymore!
For anyone with diabetes, these exams are essential as diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness. By examining a greater range of the eye’s interior, the diabetic eye exam can detect signs of swelling or leaking of blood vessels in the retina.
Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults between the ages of 20 and 74. Between the years 2005 and 2008, 4.2 million diabetes patients in the United States developed a serious diabetes-related eye condition called diabetic retinopathy. This is an eye condition in which high blood sugar levels cause blood vessels in the eye to begin leaking fluids or to become completely closed off.
Without proper care, this condition can cause severe vision loss or even blindness. People with diabetes have also proven to be at increased risk of glaucoma and early development of cataracts. Despite this, 1 in 4 people with diabetes fail to follow their optometrist’s recommendation to have a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year, leading to irreversible loss of vision and other dire consequences.
A Healthy Diet is Key in Prevention
The findings from your diabetic eye exam can give your doctor important information about your overall health, particularly diabetes and high blood pressure. Plus, your optometrist can help you manage your diabetes and prevent the progression of the condition. For example, most diabetics know that nutrition is the key factor in maintaining a normal, healthy lifestyle. Your eye doctor is a great resource to review your diet and can advise you on what foods are recommended and what to avoid.
For further information about how diabetes plays a role in your vision, call our office to schedule your annual diabetic eye exam.