Diabetic Eye Disease Month: Why Are Diabetic Eye Exams Important?
Diabetes is a metabolic condition that causes abnormal levels of blood sugar. It is becoming common in people across the world because of changes in diet and cultural lifestyles across the globe. Diabetic people have a challenge in moving energy in their blood cells. This is because their body does not make enough insulin used to move sugar into the cells. This can lead to organ and nerve damage. Other complications associated with diabetes include Diabetic Retinopathy, which is an eye condition.
What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetes can affect the eyes. This complication is called Diabetic Retinopathy. High blood sugar damages light-sensitive tissues at the back of the eye. Blood vessels swell and leak fluids in the retina due to stress from excess sugars. Sometimes, there is an overgrowth of more blood vessels in the retina to compensate for the broken ones. They clog the retina and stop light from refracting properly. Mild cases cause blurred vision, while severe cases can result in visual loss.
Patients with diabetic retinopathy experience blurred vision. It feels as if they are looking through a dirty glass. They also see distorted colors and false depth perception. They may see dark spots or floaters from time to time. Sometimes, bleeding and broken blood vessels in the retina form scar tissue. They trigger other conditions, such as macular degeneration and detached retinas.
Importance of Eye Exams for Diabetic People
The first reason diabetic people should keep up with eye exams is prevention. Some eye conditions are hard to detect during the early stages. Unless you have a comprehensive eye exam, you will discover them when it’s too late. People with diabetes are at high risk of getting cataracts. When they get cataracts, they progress fast. Glaucoma is also common in diabetic people. When these conditions are caught early, the patient can get intervention before losing vision permanently.
Eye exams also help to detect other problems. They help to detect high cholesterol levels and hypertension. It helps specialists to detect autoimmune disorders and complications before they progress. Eye exams help to detect thyroid disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
If a person has low hemoglobin levels or anemia, the specialist can detect it by checking their eyelids. These tests are good not only for diabetic people but for all people. For diabetic people, eye tests give them information that they need to manage the condition better. It also helps the patient to reduce the medical procedures that they may require from complications.
When Should You See a Doctor?
Diabetic people should visit an eye specialist at least once a year for a routine checkup. However, some symptoms should be treated with immediate effect. If you experience painful, swollen, and puffy eyes, you should be checked out immediately. Constant migraines and sensitivity to light are also triggers of eye complications.
Fluctuating vision or dark spots in your vision should be investigated by a specialist. If you have a problem seeing in low lit areas, seek medical intervention. If you are pregnant and diabetic, contact your eye doctor right away, especially if you experience blurry vision.
To know more about diabetic eye exams, visit Maple Eye and Laser Center at our offices in White Plains or Manhattan, New York. You can also call 914-948-5157 to book an appointment today.