DIABETIC EYE CARE: WHY EXAMS ARE ESSENTIAL

Between taking timed breaks on computer use, wearing the right prescription glasses or contacts, and eating the right food, keeping your eyes healthy and strong can be challenging—to say the least.

But did you know that diabetes can actually harm your eyes? For those who suffer from diabetes, maintaining proper eye health is vital.

The best way for people with diabetes to do this is to ensure they receive frequent eye examinations of the highest quality. In this article, we’ll discuss why these eye exams are so necessary.

A HIGHER RISK

People with diabetes stand at a particularly higher risk of complications from poor eye health. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, these risks can include cataract, glaucoma, and various forms of retinopathy.

Cataract is a condition that causes clouding in the clear lens of the eyes, obscuring sight. It can be difficult to manage as cataracts progress.

“Retinopathy,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “causes small blood vessels in the retina (at the back of the eye) to get weak and possibly leak blood.” If left untreated, Retinopathy may even cause blindness. Since there are no initial symptoms, it’s important to get your eyes checked regularly.

Glaucoma is a result of pressure building in the eye, according to the ADA. This pressure squeezes the blood vessels that carry blood to the retina and optic nerve, and the result is a gradual loss of vision since both the retina and nerve are severely damaged. For all patients and especially diabetic patients, the risk of developing glaucoma increases with age.

These various complications can prove debilitating and if they’re not managed properly, they can get even worse over time.

PREVENTION 

These painful and inconvenient complications can thankfully be subverted with proper eye health. For those suffering from diabetes, this means speaking with providers and receiving regular eye care.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends diabetic patients get eye exams once a year—at least. In these exams, according to the CDC, “Your eye doctor may take pictures of your eye with a tool called retinal photography to see your retina, which is located at the back part of the eye.”

The American Diabetes Association urges people to take these exams, advising that the “retina can be badly damaged before […] any change in vision” occurs. This is the reason why it’s in the best interest for those suffering from diabetes to get their eyes examined regularly.

WE’RE HERE FOR YOU

At MCR Health, our skilled providers and healthcare professionals use the latest technology to ensure patients have everything necessary to help you retain your vision, whether that’s through eye exams, glasses or contact lenses.

But as helpful as the highest quality eye care can be, nothing will change without patients making a personal, concerted effort towards better eye health.

If you or someone you know are ready to make an effort to take care of your vision, we are too. Schedule an appointment with an eye care professional today.