Diabetic Eye Exams
The current recommendation is that all diabetic patients should have a dilated eye exam once a year to check for diabetic retinopathy (diabetic disease of the retina) or more frequently if retinopathy already exists. Diabetes is a systemic disease characterized by elevated sugar in the blood and can negatively impact any organ in the body, such as the eye, by damaging the inner linings of small blood vessels. Such injury to the blood vessels can result in poor circulation of blood in the affected organ, and in the worst case scenario, it can cause organ failure. If diabetic retinopathy is severe enough, it can lead to permanent injury to the retina and possibly vision loss or blindness. However, if the retinopathy is detected early enough, it can be treated and permanent injury avoided. Therefore, regular eye exams are important in the long-term management of diabetic patients. In addition, a physician can also monitor how well-controlled a patient’s blood sugar is by assessing the degree of retinopathy. Worse retinopathy indicates worse blood sugar control and higher risk for damage to other organs in the body. They say the eyes are windows to the soul. To physicians, the eyes are windows to a patient’s overall health. At Eversight Eye Center, we use the latest diagnostic equipment to detect and monitor diabetic retinopathy and other retinal diseases so we can initiate appropriate treatment when needed. We also work with our patients’ primary care physicians by reporting any signs of diabetic retinopathy so they may fine tune their blood sugar management. If you have diabetes and have not had an eye exam for more than a year, be sure to make your appointment soon!