Diabetic Eye Exam

Diabetic eye exams are recommended by doctors as most related eye diseases will manifest as ocular defects. These exams can help to diagnose these and other serious eye diseases early, paving the way for easier and more effective treatments.

WHY DO DIABETIC EYE EXAMS MATTER?

For diabetic eye patients, excessive smoking, drinking, or high blood pressure can increase their risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Many people who develop retinopathy have minor symptoms, such as blurred vision, but unfortunately, many others experience none. Left untreated, this may lead to permanent blindness.

For those diagnosed with a diabetic eye problem, there are a lot of proven and straightforward treatments available. These treatments are applicable if the condition is detected in the earliest stages; otherwise, it can be difficult to reverse damage that has already been done. Early detection can only be achieved through regular diabetic eye exams.

To protect your vision, it is important to make sure you are controlling your blood sugar through diet & exercise. You should also make sure to undergo an eye exam every 6-12 months, depending on what your optometrist schedules.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF EYE PROBLEMS THAT CAN AFFECT DIABETICS

Diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts are a few different types of eye disease that can affect diabetics.

Diabetic retinopathy, or retina damage, is the most common condition affecting diabetics. It occurs when the tiny blood vessels of the retina are partially or completely damaged by complications relating to diabetes. These damaged blood vessels are no longer functional and are thus unable to nourish the retina adequately. Hence, the body's only response is to grow new blood vessels. These newly-developed blood vessels cannot provide sufficient nutrients to the retina, and leakages are also common.

The symptoms of a damaged retina may include floating black spots in just one eye, flashing lights across vision, or both. These manifestations occur in four phases and usually respond positively to either laser treatment of the blood vessels in the retina or revival/rejuvenation of the vitreous humor.

Patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are greatly affected by this condition. Fortunately, a regular eye exam will allow an optometrist to diagnose it early and begin immediate treatment. Even pregnant women who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes can be affected. Again, regular eye testing will be a major advantage in this case.

SYMPTOMS

Most diabetic eye problems manifest the following general symptoms:

  • Blurry vision
  • Watery eyes
  • Light flashes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Appearance of dark spots in vision
  • Eye pain
  • Holes or gaps in vision
  • Headache

These symptoms are the indicators of eye disease, and vigilance for them is required as a diabetic. If you are observant, responsive, and fast enough to detect these warning signs, you can save your eyes and your overall health from the risks presented by eye diseases.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES

1. Schedule a Regular Eye Exam

A regular eye exam can help discover the early stages of any eye problem. Consult with your optometrists as to how your eye exam schedule will be arranged. It is very important to follow your doctor's advice concerning how often you should undergo eye exams. In fact, the most recommended intervals are annual.

A dilated-eye exam will be performed, allowing your optometrist to look deep into the pupil to provide a clearer and better idea of your overall eye health. If your doctor finds any evidence of retinopathy, prescription glasses can be a quick solution. However, in most cases, laser treatments may be needed to minimize the effect. If necessary, surgery only stops or slows the progression of the condition, but shockingly, there is no remedy for late-stage retinopathy.

A proper eye exam will include the following analyses:

  • Current eye prescription determination
  • Internal and external eye health exam
  • Range and near vision analysis
  • Family member eye history review
  • Eye coordination review

You should be clear on each one of these in addition to your specific eye details during the time of visit with the eye doctor.

A diabetic eye exam often starts with an analysis of the external parts of the eyes, such as the cornea, the eyelids, the sclera, and so forth. From that point, the examination moves into a test of the eye's strength and ability to focus on both near and far objects – such a test is referred to as a "visual acuity test."

Up next is a "pupil function test" – this test will determine the overall health of the pupil and detect any physical or neurological damage.

After this, an "ocular motility test" (test to determine the eye's ability to follow fast-moving objects) will be carried out. This test is often employed when patients complain of double vision. There are other tests, such as the "visual field test," among others, that may be carried out on your eyes.

The final eye exam will involve shining a bright light directly into your eye. This light is meant to illuminate your retina while the doctor uses a magnifying lens to look into your dilated pupils in order to examine the retinal surface. The doctor will hold your eye open with a device and press a lens against your eye to flatten the cornea while lasers are directed at the blood vessels.

2. Maintain a Healthy And Appropriate Weight

If you're overweight, it's time to start shedding pounds. Performing regular exercises and changing your diet are still the best ways to achieve this.

3. Eat a Healthy Diet

Fruits and vegetables are fully equipped with vitamins and nutrients that are required for maintaining good eye health. You could start by incorporating lots of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. Fruits and vegetables are also rich in antioxidants, which can help avert damage to your eyes' lenses.

4. Perform Simple Eye Exercises

Closing your eyes and relaxing the surrounding muscles is a simple yet effective eye exercise. Spend 9 – 10 minutes thinking of something that makes you happy; open your eyes gently and look far away.

Next, try to picture something close to the length of your arm. If these exercises are practiced several times during the day, the blood vessels and other components within the eyes will become strong and less prone to diabetic complications.

5. Quit Smoking

To stop smoking might be one of the most difficult things you do, but there are several ways to do it. Some of these include hypnosis, patches, counseling/rehabilitation, and many other interventionist or rehabilitative strategies.

Maintaining a healthy blood sugar level will assist with many eye diseases. It will also reduce the effect of other diabetes-related eye health issues. When your cholesterol levels and blood pressure are maintained, you have a healthy lifestyle and will see numerous benefits.

In order to protect your optical health, you have to properly manage your diabetes. It'll demand you attend a regularly scheduled eye exam and undergo routine assessment of your blood sugar to minimize the risk of complications.