Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes cause critical changes in circulation that can take a toll on eye health and vision. As a result, people who have diabetes are more likely to have vision issues and to develop certain eye diseases. Diabetic eye exams are designed to carefully evaluate the function and structure of the eyes, looking for subtle signs of diseases and other vision issues, even before they cause symptoms.
During the exam, your eye doctor uses special equipment and computer technology to assess your vision and evaluate your eye anatomy. The eye doctor uses special eye drops to dilate your pupils so it’s easier to see your retinas, and the doctor also uses a special device to measure the pressure inside your eyes. Having regular comprehensive diabetic eye exams is critically important for ensuring these issues are treated as soon as possible before permanent vision loss occurs.
Diabetes is associated with four primary types of eye diseases, including:
All of these diseases cause few or no noticeable symptoms in their early stages, which means you may not know you have a disease until you lose part or all of your sight.
Diabetic retinopathy is a disease that’s caused by changes in the tiny blood vessels located in the back of your eye around your retina. There are two types of DR: Nonproliferative DR occurs when tiny blood vessels at the back of your eye begin to weaken and leak blood and fluids, blocking your vision.
Proliferative DR occurs when new, weak blood vessels grow in the back of your eye, preventing light from reaching the retina. Sometimes, scar tissue forms that can tug on your retina and cause it to detach, resulting in blindness.
Diabetic macular edema develops when fluid builds up around the macula, the central portion of your retina, causing central vision loss.
Most people with diabetes should have a diabetic eye exam every year to look for signs of diseases and to help maintain optimal vision and eye health. If you have signs of diabetes-related eye diseases or other eye or vision problems, you may need more frequent eye exams to make sure your eyes stay healthy.
At G. Dennis Leaks, OD, LTD., we accept most major insurance plans. Here is a short-list of just some of the most popular plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.