The Eye Gallery

Diabetic Eye Exams in Wichita

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There’s No Sugar-Coating It: Diabetes Puts Your Eyes at Risk

Diabetes is a life-changing disease that affects nearly 32.4 million Americans, and it can lead to additional health complications, especially concerning your eyes. If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you are at an increased risk of developing glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy.

Regular, annual eye exams that focus specifically on diabetic complications are essential at catching any early signs of potentially vision-threatening diabetic eye diseases.

How Diabetes Affects the Eyes

Our eyes are sensitive organs supplied by many delicate blood vessels. Diabetes prevents your body from processing blood glucose (sugar), which can build up and block blood flow. The blood vessels in your eyes are delicate and are significantly affected by high blood glucose levels.

You may occasionally experience changes in your vision due to your diabetes. For example, if you’re changing your diabetes medication, your internal eye pressure may increase, or your eye tissues may swell, which can affect how your eyes focus. This blurred vision is temporary and will likely stabilize when your blood glucose levels return to normal.

However, eye damage caused by diabetes can lead to several diabetes-related eye diseases.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease that occurs when the blood vessels supply the retina (the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye). These blood vessels become blocked or clogged, bulging and leaking blood and fluid into your eyes. This leaking can lead to permanent vision loss and even blindness.

Diabetic retinopathy currently affects nearly 7.7 million Americans. Although there’s no cure for this serious eye disease, early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent vision loss.

Diabetic macular edema (DME) commonly affects those who already have diabetic retinopathy. It occurs when diabetes causes swelling in the macula, the central part of the retina responsible for your central vision. If left untreated, it can destroy your detailed central vision and prevent you from reading, driving, or even recognizing faces.

Common Symptoms of Diabetic Eye Disease

Many eye diseases begin and progress with little early symptoms, meaning they can exist and worsen for years before you notice signs. When symptoms do appear, it often means significant irreversible vision damage has already occurred.

Symptoms of diabetic eye disease include, but are not limited to:

  • Changes in vision, including blurry or wavy vision
  • Halos around lights
  • Frequent changes in vision over days
  • Vision loss or dark/blank areas
  • Poor color vision
  • Increase in floaters
  • Flashes of light

Diagnosing Diabetic Eye Disease

If you have diabetes, annual dilated eye exams are an essential component of your overall health care. At The Eye Gallery, our diabetic eye exams include dilation and advanced technology. We invest in your ocular health by investing in state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment.

Optical coherence tomography and fundus photography give us high-resolution, detailed images of your retina, optic nerve, and macula that reveal even the earliest signs of diabetic eye disease.

We also test your visual acuity and perform several additional tests to monitor your overall ocular health and internal eye pressure for signs of other eye conditions.

Preventing Diabetic Eye Disease

You may have heard that old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That’s especially true regarding diabetic eye diseases.

Managing your diabetes and health is the first step to preventing diabetic eye disease:

  • Eat a nutritious diet and make exercise a part of your daily routine. Exercise and a healthy diet can help control blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol and reduce your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking increases the risks associated with diabetes, including diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma.
  • Undergo annual eye exams. Comprehensive dilated eye exams are the best tool for detecting early signs of diabetic eye disease before they cause irreversible vision loss.
  • Follow all doctor’s advice and instructions closely.
  • Contact us immediately if you notice any changes in your vision in one or both eyes.

Treating Diabetic Eye Disease

Treatment varies depending on the type of disease you develop and the stage it’s in.

For example, early diabetic retinopathy doesn’t usually need treatment. We’ll instead closely monitor your condition and begin treatment if it worsens.

Advanced diabetic retinopathy can be treated with:

  • Photocoagulation: a laser surgery that shrinks the abnormal blood vessels in the retina.
  • Vitrectomy: a surgery used to remove scar tissue that is impairing vision.
  • Anti-VEGF therapy: injections intended to slow the growth of abnormal blood vessels.

Is It Time for Your Next Appointment?

In the case that you do develop an eye disease, know that we’ll be there for you every step of the way. From information to treatment to counsel, you will never be alone in managing your ocular condition.

It’s never too early or too late to take care of your eyes. If you have diabetes, we would love to see you for your next diabetic eye exam. Please, call us today to book your appointment!

Our Services

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12330 E. 21st St. N.
Wichita, KS 67206

Contact Information

Phone: (316) 315-0321
info@eyegalleryks.com

Our Hours

Monday
9 AM5 PM
Tuesday
9 AM5 PM
Wednesday
9 AM6 PM
Thursday
9 AM6 PM
Friday
9 AM5 PM
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Closed
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