Diabetic Eye Care

People with diabetes are at higher risk for vision disorders.
But with regular eye exams, problems can be detected and treated early.

If you’re one of the more than 26 million Americans with diabetes, you know how important it is to take good care of yourself — including proper medication, close monitoring of your blood sugar levels, a healthy diet, and regular exercise. But did you know that diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults ages 20 to 74? That makes regular vision care vital to your overall health.

Specialized Care for Diabetic Patients

If you have diabetes, your doctor at Nilsen Eye Care will take these extra steps to help protect your vision and eye health:

  • Conduct a dilated eye exam and send a note to your primary care physician or endocrinologist with the findings.
  • Offer specialized tests—such as optical coherence tomography (OCT) and fundus photography.
  • Discuss your health history with you, including how long you have had diabetes and your most recent blood sugar reading and Hemoglobin A1C(HgA1C).
  • Educate you about your risk for glaucoma and early cataracts and how elevated blood sugars can cause a large fluctuation in your vision.

A comprehensive annual eye exam is important to evaluate these common eye problems associated with diabetes:

Diabetic Retinopathy. This condition is a microvascular disorder that occurs due to the long-term effects of diabetes. It includes hemorrhages, leaky blood vessels, and swelling in the retina. Because its initial symptoms are very slight or even unnoticeable, diabetic retinopathy often goes undiagnosed unless detected during an eye exam.

Glaucoma. If you have diabetes, you are 40 percent more likely to develop glaucoma, according to the American Diabetes Association. Glaucoma occurs when the increased fluid pressure in the eyes damages the nerve fibers in the optic nerve.

Cataracts. A cataract clouds the eye’s lens, which blocks the passage of light. The condition is typically associated with aging, but the American Diabetic Association says diabetics are 60 percent more likely to develop cataracts.

In addition to having a comprehensive annual eye exam, be sure to see your eye care provider promptly ifyou notice any of the following changes in your vision:

  • Blurry, double, or cloudy vision
  • Pain or pressure in one or both eyes
  • Trouble with peripheral vision
  • Floating or flashing lights
  • Dark spot

For all our patients — but especially individuals with diabetes — you will see the difference caring makes at Nilsen Eye Care.

When was your last eye exam?

Your eye health plays a critical role in your overall health. It’s no exaggeration to say that an eye exam could save your life—and the sooner you establish your medical baseline, the better off you’ll be. We work with most insurance plans (medical and vision), so contact us today to schedule your next appointment.