Over 3 million Canadians have diabetes, and while regular diabetic eye exams are an important part of managing their illness, eye exams can also play a pivotal role in the early detection of diabetes for those who haven’t been diagnosed.
Why Diabetic Eye Exams are Important
When a person has diabetes, they often experience changes in the retina—a layer of cells at the back of the eye that’s responsible for processing images and sending signals to the brain, helping it interpret what the eye sees. When these changes in the retina occur, it’s called diabetic retinopathy—a condition that can cause issues such as blurred vision, splotchy vision, or even blindness.
Regular diabetic eye exams can help detect vision issues early and prevent escalation.
Signs of Diabetic Retinopathy
According to Diabetes Canada, 23% of people with type 1 diabetes experience diabetic retinopathy. When it first develops, people often don’t experience any symptoms, which is why it’s important to schedule regular diabetic eye exams.
As the condition progresses, a person may experience:
- Blurry vision
- Sudden vision loss
- Spotty or blotchy vision
- Flashes or spots of light in their field of vision
While diabetic retinopathy isn’t curable, it can be prevented or delayed with the right approach to treatment. The most important factor in prevention and early detection is regular diabetic eye exams. Diabetes Canada recommends yearly exams for diagnosed individuals; however, your optician may recommend a different schedule depending on the health of your eyes.
In addition to visiting an optician regularly, you can prevent retinopathy by carefully monitoring and maintaining safe blood-glucose levels.
Schedule a Diabetic Eye Exam
As a diabetic, the health of your eyes requires consistent monitoring. Regular eye exams are an important part of diabetes maintenance to help ensure your vision and eye health remain optimal.
Contact us today to schedule your diabetic eye exam.