Diabetic Eye Exams

Diabetes and the Eyes

If diagnosed with diabetes, taking extra care of your eyes is a must. Excess sugar in the blood can lead to eye troubles, and both type one and type two diabetics are susceptible. About 10% of New Yorkers were reported to have diabetes at the end of 2015. That’s about 2 million people! It is estimated that approximately 500,000 people don’t even know they have diabetes!

High blood sugar levels mostly affect the back of the eye and the retina, which can develop into a condition called diabetic retinopathy. Some cases can lead to eventual loss of vision, so special attention to the eyes and regular exams are especially important.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when blood vessels in the eye leak blood or fluids, which can cause swelling and blurred vision. Many diabetic patients are affected by diabetic retinopathy, and the longer someone has had diabetes, the more likely they are to develop retinopathy.

In the early stages of retinopathy, there may be little to no noticeable symptoms. However, as the condition develops, it can lead to a handful of vision-impairing symptoms, as well as leave you more susceptible to developing other related eye diseases. If you are diabetic and are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s a good idea to pop in to see an optometrist for an eye exam.

Retinopathy Symptoms

  • Blurred vision
  • Seeing floaters
  • Dark spots or gaps in the center of vision
  • Poor night vision

The severity of retinopathy symptoms may ebb and flow along with blood sugar levels, but, if left unmonitored, can lead to eventual deterioration of vision entirely. There are several lifestyle choices that can help limit the likelihood of retinopathy and diabetic eye issues.

Prevention Measures

  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Exercise frequently
  • Monitor blood sugar levels
  • Follow the instruction of your general physician
  • Regularly take all prescribed medicine
  • Schedule regular eye exams

Even before you have developed symptoms, a visit to the eye doctor could lead to early-detection with an examination of your retina. Our doctors are experienced with retina health and abnormalities and can help diagnose diabetic eye issues, as well as counsel you on best practices to monitor your diabetes as it relates to eye health.

Consult North Shore Advanced Eye Care

When you come in for a diabetic eye exam at NSAEC, we dilate your eyes to get a full look at the condition of your retinas. We also have both Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)  technology, and advanced retinal photography, which we recommend as a supplement in your exam, as it allows the dioctor to get a thorough retinal imaging of your eyes. For eyes affected by retinopathy, we offer counsel on monitoring of your condition.  More serious cases may require laser surgery or similar procedures.

Unfortunately, diabetes can also leave patients more likely to develop other eye diseases, such as glaucoma and cataracts. Regular diabetic eye evaluations can also help manage the development of such issues. Give us a call if you have questions about your eye health or if you are experience diabetic-related eye symptoms (631) 642-2020.