Life with diabetes is challenging. In addition to regulating their blood sugar, people with diabetes need to be aware of complications that can affect nearly the entire body, including the eyes. At Valdez Eye Center in Apple Valley, California, the team of board-certified ophthalmologists provide diabetic eye checkups and treat diabetic eye complications including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone today.
Going to an ophthalmologist is a crucial part of any diabetic care routine, even if you can see clearly and your eyes aren’t bothering you. Diabetes increases your risk of eye ailments that can cause partial or complete vision loss.
The surest way to detect these conditions early — before they damage your sight — is through regular diabetic eye checkups.
The most common eye disease that’s specific to diabetes is diabetic retinopathy, which damages the blood vessels in your retina. Retinopathy causes mild symptoms or none at all in its early stages, but left untreated it can lead to blindness.
Diabetes can cause you to develop myopia (nearsightedness) as an adult. It also increases your risk of cataracts or glaucoma.
As with other diabetes complications, you can usually prevent diabetic eye complications by controlling your blood sugar.
A diabetic eye checkup involves a standard comprehensive eye exam and additional tests to monitor for changes to the blood vessels in your eyes. Your ophthalmologist at Valdez Eye Center tests your vision to see if you need a new corrective lens prescription and screens you for glaucoma and cataracts.
Your ophthalmologist then dilates your pupils using eye drops to look closely at the structures inside your eyes, including your retinas. This part of the checkup involves tests to locate damaged or leaking blood vessels, which are signs of diabetic retinopathy.
When you come in for your diabetic eye checkup at Valdez Eye Center, be sure to have your diabetes history handy. This helps the team to better understand your risk factors and overall health. This information includes when you were diagnosed, what medication you take and have taken, recent blood sugar and A1C levels, and any symptoms you experience, including but not limited to eye symptoms.
If your ophthalmologist diagnoses you with diabetic retinopathy, treatment depends on the stage of the disease:
This earliest stage of retinopathy shows no symptoms and requires no specific treatment. You slow the disease’s progression by controlling your blood sugar. At this stage, your ophthalmologist closely monitors your condition to determine if and when you’ll need further treatment.
If the condition is diagnosed as proliferative diabetic retinopathy, it’s reached the advanced stage. It requires immediate treatment to seal or shrink abnormal blood vessels, which the team at Valdez Eye Center performs at the office. This treatment is necessary to prevent serious complications, including retinal detachment, glaucoma, and eventual blindness.
Schedule a diabetic eye checkup at Valdez Eye Center today online or over the phone.