Diabetes can be a serious condition for many of our patients if left unchecked. As it is one of the leading causes of new vision loss, regular check-ups and monitoring are important if there’s an increased risk of developing the disorder.
How Diabetes Affects Your Eyes
Excess blood sugar level will damage the small vessels supplying blood to your retina. Since a diabetic’s body cannot properly process blood glucose, it’s important to monitor any of the long-term complications in the blood vessels and nerves.
Over time, diabetes can develop into other disorders:
- Diabetic retinopathy
Damage Caused by Hypertension
This minor blood vessel damage can lead to blocked blood flow to the retina over time. The retina acts like a microphone for all the information coming through your pupils: receiving, converting, and transmitting all the light signals to the brain. So, no blood flow means your microphone is not plugged in.
Your body, though, tries to fix itself. It’ll grow new blood vessels despite not having the appropriate blood flow. This results in less healthy or effective blood vessels that sometimes will leak or rupture, which can leave damaging scar tissue.
Our licensed optometrists <<comprehensive yearly eye exam>> use pupil dilation to better evaluate patients’ overall health by examining their eyes:
- Measuring tiny changes in blood flow to the eyes
- Checking the eye’s internal structures, like the retina and optic nerve
- Inspecting for any tears or perforations
What Our Diabetes Eye Exam is Looking For
There are numerous health factors covered during our diabetes.
- Abnormalities in any blood vessels
- Blood, fatty deposits, or inflammation in the retina
- Growth of new blood vessels and/or scar tissue
- Bleeding in the eye’s normally-clear vitreous humor
- Retinal detachment
- Abnormalities in the optic nerve
The dilation process is not painful. The dilation drops usually take 15 to 30 minutes to open up the pupils. Side effects include light sensitivity and blurred vision, which last approximately three to four hours.
Why Is a Diabetic Retinopathy Exam So Important?
Despite not having obvious symptoms or signs for a patient, eye and vision problems can be easily diagnosed by a licensed optometrist. Early detection mean we can provide preventative treatment options.