Men and women who have diabetes are more prone to developing eye-related complications and diseases, including diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma, versus those who aren’t diabetic. For this reason, patients with diabetes should have a comprehensive diabetic exam annually or bi-annually with a board certified ophthalmologist like Dr. Shah. Even if the doctor who monitors your diabetes checks your eyes, it's important to routinely be evaluated by an experienced ophthalmologist who has the specialized equipment and expertise to provide a more thorough examination. Early detection of potential issues is your best defense in preventing complications.
Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common causes of vision loss among diabetics. The condition is caused by changes in retinal blood vessels that result in bleeding or the leakage of fluid. Nearly all type 1 diabetics and 60% percent of type 2 diabetics develop some form of diabetic retinopathy at some point in their lifetimes. If your blood sugar is not controlled, you are at an increased risk for developing this condition.
Dr. Shah conducts a comprehensive eye examination and screening tests as warranted. First, your visual acuity is assessed with a chart of letters differing in sizes. Next, your pupils are dilated with drops to better enable Dr. Shah to see the structures of your eye. Using a special magnifying lens, he examines the back of your eye for damaged blood vessels and checks your eye’s optic nerves. In certain instances, Dr. Shah may also take retinal photos and/or perform additional imaging tests.
In its initial stages, diabetic retinopathy may not affect your vision or cause symptoms of any kind. However, as the condition progresses, you may experience:
Early detection and treatment are essential in preventing irreversible eye damage caused by retinopathy.
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