Diabetes is a disease that profoundly affects many areas of the body, including the eyes. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness among adults in the United States. Diabetes also increases your risk for eye conditions such as glaucoma and cataracts.
The primary concern for eye health in people with diabetes is the development of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is a serious condition that develops when the blood vessels in the retina become damaged due to high blood sugar. As the damage to the retina worsens, vision loss begins and can quickly increase. Your eyesight may become blurry, less sharp and then begin to dissipate.
The longer you live with diabetes, the more likely you are to develop complications like diabetic retinopathy. Diligent control of blood sugar can significantly reduce the prevalence and severity of diabetic retinopathy, but the only way to identify this and other diabetic eye problems in their earliest and most treatable stages is to have regular, comprehensive eye examinations.
Eye exams for diabetes involve a series of painless tests that check your visual acuity and general eye health and screen for signs of disease. In Medford, Dr. Lemley recommends all adult patients, especially those with diabetes, have a yearly eye exam. Depending on your diagnosis and treatment plan, you may be required to have more frequent exams.
The best way to deal with eye problems related to diabetes is through early detection of retinal abnormalities, regular monitoring and prompt treatment. The chances of avoiding vision loss from diabetes related eye conditions are better than ever, but vigilance is key. If you have never had a dilated eye exam or haven’t had one within the past year, contact Medical Eye Center today at 541-779-4711 or medfordretinacare.com to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lemley.