During your diabetic exam Dr. Price will look for several different changes. Diabetes can affect not only your ability to focus, but it can affect the health of your eyes. During your exam, Dr. Price will be looking for any signs of diabetic eye disease including changes in your blood vessels and macula. Diabetics also have a greater chance of developing glaucoma and cataracts, so we will also be looking for any signs of those ailments as well.
Unfortunately, Diabetic retinopathy is the number one cause of blindness in American adults. Fortunately, blindness caused by diabetes can be prevented with regular dilated eye exams.
Overtime, diabetes damages the blood vessels in the retina, the light-sensitive nerve tissue in your eye that sends visual images to your brain. The retina is often referred to as the “film in your camera”.
Retinal damage happens slowly. Your retinas have tiny blood vessels that are easy to damage. At first, you might not have any loss of sight from these changes. This is why you need to have a comprehensive eye exam once a year even if your sight seems fine.
Blurred vision or temporary blindness can occur when blood vessels weaken, bulge and leak fluid into surrounding tissue, causing swelling – a condition called macular edema. Abnormal new blood vessels may often, grow on the retina, where they can bleed into the eye and block vision. As the disease progresses, the retina can detach from the eye, resulting in permanent blindness. Irreversible vision loss can be prevented with early detection and treatment. This is just one of the reasons it is so important to have your eyes checked on a regular basis.
We encourage patients to call us right away if you are having any vision problems or if you have had a sudden change in your vision.