Diabetes occurs when your body produces inadequate insulin or fails to process it to regulate the blood sugar in your blood. High blood sugar can damage organs in the body, including the kidney, liver, heart, and nerves. Your eyes are also not safe when you have diabetes. Uncontrolled blood sugar may cause diabetic retinopathy, leading to vision loss when left untreated. The good news is that you can have optimal eye health even if you have diabetes. Slingsby and Huot Eye Care Associates give a rundown of maintaining healthy vision in patients with diabetes.
What does a diabetic eye exam include?
Eye exams are crucial for everyone, but they are even more important if you have diabetes. During a diabetic eye exam, your eye doctor runs several tests to determine your eye health. Some tests include:
- Dilated eye exam: This helps the eye doctor to have a better look at the retina to establish if there is damage.
- Digital retinal exam: This exam uses sophisticated technology to generate high-resolution imaging of the back of your eye. The images include your retina, blood vessels, and optic nerve. This exam serves as a basis for future exams to establish whether your eye health is worsening.
- Tomography: This test gives a more detailed view of the retina and optic nerve to establish the presence of abnormalities.
What is diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetes puts you at risk of several eye diseases, including glaucoma, macular edema, and cataracts. However, high blood sugar may weaken the retinal blood vessels, causing them to leak. The retina sends light signals from the eye to the brain, so when it’s damaged, your vision may be affected.
A more severe form of diabetic retinopathy occurs when new blood vessels form behind the retina to compensate for blood lost by damaged blood vessels. The new blood vessels are weak and easily rupture to start leaking, which scars your retina.
What happens if my eye doctor finds a problem?
Treatment varies depending on the problems we find with our eyesight. The first line of defense for treating diabetic eye diseases is managing the underlying condition. We will work with you and your doctor to help keep your diabetes in control.
However, where diabetes has caused damage to your eyes, treatment includes medication and eye surgery. We also recommend a proper diet and exercise regimen to keep your eye care and overall health in great shape.
Schedule an Appointment with Our Eye Doctor in Rapid City, SD
Looking for an eye surgeon in Rapid City, SD? You are in the right place. Slingsby and Huot Eye Care Associates offers eye surgery services for diabetic eye diseases, macular degeneration, and other conditions. Please book an appointment today. We can’t wait to restore your eye health to its former self.