How can eye exams help with diabetes?

Regularly scheduled eye exams can detect early signs of blood vessel damage in the retina called diabetic retinopathy. Early detection and treatment can help prevent or slow the progression of this condition.

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Increased risks because of untreated diabetes.

Diabetes can increase the risk of developing other related eye problems. Cataracts and glaucoma are other common associated problems for someone living with diabetes.

How does diabetes affect my life?

Lifestyle changes: Managing diabetes often involves making lifestyle changes such as following a healthy diet, being physically active, and monitoring blood sugar levels regularly. This can require a significant adjustment to your daily routine and may impact your social life, travel plans, and work schedule.

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What is the optometrist looking for?

During an eye exam, several signs of diabetes may be visible, especially in the retina. These signs include:

  1. Diabetic Retinopathy: This is a common complication of diabetes that affects the blood vessels in the retina. During an eye exam, the ophthalmologist may observe signs of retinopathy, such as microaneurysms, hemorrhages, exudates, and abnormal blood vessels.

  2. Macular Edema: This is a swelling of the macula, the part of the retina responsible for sharp, central vision. Macular edema is often caused by diabetic retinopathy and may be visible during an eye exam.

  3. Changes in Blood Vessels: Diabetes can cause changes in the blood vessels of the eye, making them leaky or weak. These changes may be visible during an eye exam.

  4. Cataracts: People with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts, which are cloudy areas in the lens of the eye that can affect vision.

  5. Glaucoma: Diabetes can also increase the risk of glaucoma, a condition that damages the optic nerve and can cause vision loss.

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