It is very important for diabetics to have a yearly eye exam, and in some cases, even more frequently than that. When you are first diagnosed with diabetes, we want to establish a baseline so we can better track any changes in your eyes over time. That may include retinal photography; something that may not have been included in past eye exams.
Vision deteriorates when a diabetic’s blood glucose, often called blood sugar, gets high. If it is controlled quickly, then the vision will usually return. If the glucose stays high, it can damage the tiny blood vessels in the back of the eye. Also new, weak blood vessels may begin to grow and bleed, therefore decreasing vision.
One of the most common complications of diabetes is an eye condition called diabetic retinopathy. In the early stage…and most treatable stage…symptoms are mild and sometimes even imperceptible. That is why we always dilate eyes so that we can take a good look at the retina and diagnose and treat problems early.
We also ask that diabetic patients monitor their own vision and report back any unusual symptoms such as flashing lights and/or missing vision. This could be a sign of diabetic-related vision problems.
Besides yearly eye exams, we also encourage our diabetics to maintain healthy sugar levels as well as weight. Other things to keep an eye on…..Keep your blood pressure under control, and of course, quit smoking, if you smoke.