Diabetes often brings with it a host of complications, one of the most significant being damage to eye health. Regular diabetic eye exams, conducted by a qualified diabetic eye doctor, are a key preventive measure. They help detect issues early, particularly through the diabetic retinal exam— a crucial part of a comprehensive diabetes eye test. This blog will delve into the importance of these exams for individuals living with diabetes.
Why Diabetic Eye Exams Are Important
Prevention of Diabetic Retinopathy and Its Complications
According to the National Eye Institute, diabetic retinopathy— damage to the blood vessels in the retina—is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes, affecting nearly 7.7 million people in the United States.
The preliminary screening for diabetes-induced abnormalities in the eye involves a fundoscopic exam (diabetic retinal exam), which includes dilation of the eyes and a close examination of the retina. Depending on the severity of the alterations, treatment might involve injections or laser therapy, while minor changes might only require monitoring.
Identifying Other Eyesight Issues
People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop eye conditions like cataracts and refractive errors. A diabetic eye exam can detect these disorders early, enabling immediate commencement of treatment.
Diabetic Eye Exam Frequency
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), optometrists recommend immediately scheduling a comprehensive diabetic eye exam upon diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. For patients with type 1 diabetes, the first eye exam should be scheduled within five years after diagnosis, with yearly screenings.
Lowering the Risk of Diabetic Retinopathy
Regular optometric exams can play a significant role in preventing diabetic retinopathy. More specifically, An annual routine eye exam could prevent 95% of vision loss caused by diabetes. Maintaining an A1C of less than 7 percent and a glucose time-in-range of more than 70% may reduce your risk of developing diabetes-related eye conditions.
Besides eye health, these exams can provide an overview of the impact of diabetes on your overall health and offer the opportunity to commence treatment for any detected eye issues before they become severe.
4 Tips For Reducing the Risk
- Maintain a Healthy Diet: Incorporating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can help keep your blood sugar levels under control.
- Regular Exercise: Regular physical activity helps regulate blood sugar levels and can promote overall eye health.
- Control Blood Pressure and Cholesterol: High blood pressure and cholesterol can increase the risk of vision loss. Regular check-ups, a balanced diet, and prescribed medications can help keep these in control.
- Quit Smoking: Smoking increases the risk of diabetic retinopathy and other diabetes complications. If you smoke, seek help to quit.
Book a Diabetic Eye Exam Today
Don’t overlook eye checks when scheduling regular health checkups. Especially when dealing with diabetes, early detection is key in managing potential complications. Schedule a diabetic eye exam with us today, and together, let’s take a step toward preserving your eye health.
**The information this blog provides on diabetic eye exams is intended for general informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical condition.**