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Diabetic Eye Exam

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Staying On Top Of Your Eye Health

People living with diabetes need to be extra aware of their eye health. Diabetes introduces new vision-threatening eye diseases as possible developments should blood sugar management suffer. Diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema (DME) can both cause permanent vision loss, especially if detected late and poorly managed.

At The Eye Gallery, we conduct additional screening for people with diabetes during eye exams to ensure that we have an accurate understanding of your eye health. Both diabetic retinopathy and DME have tell-tale signs of their development that we can detect with our equipment, often when these diseases are still in their infancy.

More About Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic eye disease encompasses four conditions influenced by diabetes: cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and diabetic macular edema.

During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye health is assessed using a variety of tests and diagnostic techniques. Advanced equipment and processes, including high-resolution retinal imaging and ocular coherence tomography, allow us to acquire detailed images of your eyes and the internal structures therein.

For people with diabetes, we conduct additional tests using dilation to ensure that we are able to see all areas of the inner eye.

While these diseases are not exclusive to those living with diabetes, people with diabetes are much more likely to develop cataracts and glaucoma compared to people without diabetes.

Both cataracts and glaucoma are vision-threatening conditions that require close observation and management. Vision impairment from cataracts can be largely offset until surgery is required, and glaucoma can usually be managed successfully so that symptoms and progression stabilize.

Retinopathy is a complex disease that only people with diabetes can get. Most people with diabetes will develop some form of retinopathy during their lives, though for most people, its development will be in their senior years.

Retinopathy is a vision-threatening disease that can cause irreparable vision loss. It is caused by damage to the blood vessels in the retina- this damage is usually a result of fluctuating blood sugar levels that damage cellular walls.

There are several stages of retinopathy, broken down into two main categories: non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy, and the more severe proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

DME forms in people that already have retinopathy. Leaking blood vessels, associated with later stages of retinopathy, cause fluid to build up in the macula. This buildup of fluid can cause blurry vision, floaters, and eventually blindness (if left untreated).

The Importance of Diligence in Eye Health

An annual dilated eye exam is recommended by the American Diabetes Association, even if your family doctor is also checking your eyes. Only optometrists and ophthalmologists have the training and equipment needed to detect diabetic retinopathy.

Schedule your appointment to meet with Dr. Baldwin regarding your eye health.

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