Why Are Diabetic Eye Exams Essential for Those with Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way the body processes glucose or sugar. It can cause various complications, many of which affect the eyes, thus impacting vision and eye health. When blood sugar levels are consistently high, it can damage the tiny blood vessels in the eyes, leading to a condition called diabetic retinopathy.


The Connection Between Diabetes and Vision Problems


High blood sugar levels can affect the eye in several ways, and if left untreated, these effects can lead to permanent vision loss. Vision problems related to diabetes don't just involve those directly linked to the disease, like diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, or cataracts. Individuals with diabetes can also face refractive changes, meaning changes in the eye's ability to focus.


Diabetic macular edema (DME) is another vision problem connected to diabetes. It's a consequence of diabetic retinopathy that causes swelling in the macula, the part of the retina responsible for sharp, straight-ahead vision. DME is the most common cause of vision loss in people with diabetic retinopathy.


Why Are Eye Exams Essential for Diabetics?


Eye exams are essential for diabetics because they can detect changes in the eye caused by diabetes before vision symptoms occur. Regular eye exams allow for early detection and treatment, which can prevent or slow down vision loss. The eye is the only place in the body where blood vessels can be directly seen, making it a unique window into the body's overall health.


Eye exams can identify signs of diabetic retinopathy, even before a person notices any vision problems. This is important because often, people with diabetic retinopathy do not experience symptoms until the disease has progressed significantly.


Additionally, eye exams can also detect other common eye conditions that people with diabetes are at risk for, such as glaucoma and cataracts. Without regular eye exams, these conditions could go unnoticed and untreated, leading to vision loss.


How Often Should Diabetics Get Eye Exams?


The American Diabetes Association recommends an annual comprehensive eye exam for individuals with diabetes. Given the potential impact of diabetes on eye health, consistent early eye exams play a crucial role in safeguarding vision and overall well-being.


Prioritizing Eye Health with Diabetes


Living with diabetes presents many challenges, but losing your sight doesn't have to be one of them. Routine eye exams are essential for early detection of diabetic eye disease and for maintaining good vision and eye health.


Don't wait until you notice a problem with your vision. Schedule your diabetic eye exam today and take control of your eye health, visit Coers Family Eyecare in our Columbus, Indiana, office. Call (812) 408-8400 to book an appointment today.

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