When you think about diabetes, the connection with eye disease might not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, if you have diabetes, it raises your risk of blindness. With regular comprehensive eye exams with expert optometrists Ray Corbin-Simon, OD and Madelyne Latorre-Magsaysay, OD, at In Focus Vision Center & Eyecare in Piscataway, New Jersey, you can catch signs of eye disease early and get the treatment you need to preserve your sight. Call or schedule your next appointment online today.
Diabetes increases your risk of several eye diseases including:
Diabetic retinopathy and macular edema are the most well-known forms of diabetes-related eye disease. High blood sugar levels can increase the blood pressure in the delicate blood vessels in your eyes and damage them. The damaged capillaries are unable to regulate the passage of fluid from your blood vessels into your eyes, which can cause macular swelling and scar tissue to develop on your retina.
Your retina is the part of your eye that records the light that comes through your eye and converts it into electrical impulses that are sent to your brain to interpret as vision. Retina damage is permanent and causes serious vision impairment and blindness.
Diabetes increases your risk of other eye conditions such as glaucoma and cataracts. While nondiabetics also develop these eye diseases, diabetics are 40% more likely to develop glaucoma and 60% more likely to have cataracts.
You should have a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year. If you’re already showing signs of eye disease, your doctor can recommend a customized schedule of exams to monitor your eye health.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that you have an eye exam as soon as possible after you’re diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes often goes undiagnosed for years, and you may already have retina damage from your disease.
Diabetic eye exams begin much like a regular comprehensive eye exam. Your optometrist runs a variety of tests to check different aspects of your eye health and to measure the clarity of your vision.
In addition to the standard tests, your doctor uses Optomap® imaging to create a panoramic image of your retina. Like pupil dilation tests, this process allows your optometrist to examine your retina and the back of your eye in more detail. The doctors at In Focus Vision Center & Eyecare also offer Optovue® iWellness exams to measure the thickness of your retina and ganglion cell complex.
If your In Focus doctor finds signs of damage on your retina or macular edema, she may also perform additional diagnostic tests such as optical coherence tomography or fluorescein angiography. These tests provide greater detail about retinal damage.
If you have diabetes, call or schedule an appointment online today.