According to the American Diabetes Association, close to 26 million Americans suffer from diabetes. (That’s an astonishing 8.3 percent of the total population!) While diabetes is a disorder involving out-of-control blood sugar, it’s health impacts are wide-reaching. Not only are diabetics at a higher risk for heart attack, stroke and amputation, they’re also more likely to become blind than non-diabetics. Indeed, diabetes has become the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults between 20 and 74 years of age. This is why our Beaver eye doctors here at the optometry practice of Eye Town very strongly recommend scheduling frequent visits to our office for comprehensive eye exams.
The primary eye problems individuals with diabetes need to be on the lookout for are glaucoma, cataracts and retinopathy — all of which are capable of producing severe-to-complete vision impairment. If you’re a diabetic and come in for an eye exam, then, you can be sure the Beaver eye doctors here at Eye Town will do more than simply have you read an eye chart or two. Our doctors will also run a full battery of tests that will include measuring your intraocular pressure (that is, pressure inside your eyes), imaging your retina and looking closely at your lenses for signs of cataracts. While some diabetes-related eye conditions can be ameliorated by getting blood sugar under control, in many cases you may need to take prescription drugs or even undergo eye surgery as well. Of course, it will be very important for your primary care doctor and your eye doctor to be in close contact in order to make sure you’re treated in the best possible way.
Yes, as much as we’d like it to be otherwise, diabetes is a fact of life for more and more of us with each passing year. Thankfully, though, medical science has come a long way and the diabetes can be more-or-less manageable so long as you do your part with eating right, monitoring your blood sugar and making your medical appointments. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes, or if you have diabetes but haven’t seen an eye doctor in awhile, please don’t hesitate to set up an appointment. Call your Beaver eye doctors here at Eye Town today!