It should go without saying that a regular eye exam makes good sense for everyone — but it’s especially critical for individuals suffering from diabetes. This blood sugar disorder can cause progressive, irreversible damage to the eye that eventually results in loss of vision; to make matters worse, it may develop for years without your even being aware of it. That’s why it’s so important to monitor the diabetic eye closely — and why our optometrist at Trinity Eye Associates in Oviedo, Florida makes a point of providing diabetic eye care.
Diabetes is a condition in which the body loses its ability to control its own blood sugar levels, often with an accompanying rise in blood pressure. The combination of these two factors can have devastating consequences for your eyes by causing a condition known as diabetic retinopathy. In the earlier or non-proliferative stage of this disease, the blood vessels that serve the retina become weak and begin to leak blood. You may have this condition for quite some time without experiencing any visual symptoms. Once the advance of the condition to the proliferative stage, abnormal new retinal blood vessels may begin to grow, and these may leak blood as well. By this point, you may be experiencing poor night vision, vision loss in one or both eyes, “floaters” or dark spots in your vision. By this time, extensive damage has already been done.
New technology available at our office provides 3D imaging of the retina. This allows us to visualize changes in deeper layers of your eye before they are visible with traditional imaging. The earlier you can be made aware of your diabetic eye issues, the sooner you can gain control over them. Regular retinal exams under pupil dilation allow our Oviedo eye doctor to get a good look at a large portion of the retina, ensuring that we can spot any signs of retinal abnormalities in their earliest stages. If damage has already occurred, we will urge you and your primary care provider to get the tightest possible control over both your blood pressure and your blood sugar, since this can dramatically reduce the progress of the condition. Extensive blood vessel formation and blood leakage may need to be addressed through laser surgery, injections, or other procedures, in which case we can provide the necessary referrals, surgery co-management or other forms of diabetic eye care.
Regular eye exams not only help you rescue yourself from blindness, but they can also play a key role in your systemic well-being. Many people never even know they have diabetes until they learn it from their optometrist, making this routine evaluation a potential lifesaver. In the meantime, a healthy lifestyle is critical to protect both your eyes and the rest of your body from diabetes. Diet, exercise, weight control, blood pressure control, and avoiding smoking are all steps that can minimize the threat of diabetic retinopathy.
Take a proactive stance to protect your precious vision against the dangers of diabetes. Call (407) 678-9151 to schedule an eye exam with our eye doctor at Trinity Eye Associates in Oviedo, Florida. Your journey toward healthier eyes begins today!