Diabetes affects every part of a person's body. One especially vulnerable area is eyesight. At Legacy Eye Care, our patients in the Petersburg and Chester areas are always asked whether or not they have diabetes. This is a surprise for some when it is their first medical eye exam with an eye doctor, but they soon understand why it is an essential part of good eye care. Diabetes can contribute to blindness if not properly controlled.
The most notable eye problem associated with diabetes is diabetic retinopathy. This disorder affects the blood vessels in the retina and can cause bleeding inside the eye. It can even cause the retina to detach. Those with diabetes are also more likely to develop cataracts and glaucoma.
Diabetic eye exams are quick and easy. Our eye doctor will dilate your pupils so they can see what is going on behind your eyes. The doctor will be looking for leaky blood vessels, changes in the lenses of your eyes, fatty deposits, and optic nerve damage. If there is suspicion of a problem, our optometrist may use dye to produce a clearer view of the blood vessels in your eyes.
Patients with Type 1 diabetes should schedule an exam within five years of being diagnosed and will likely need to undergo an exam every year. Those with Type 2 diabetes should get checked right away as twenty percent of those newly diagnosed already have some eye damage. If you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, it is a good idea to have a dilated eye exam. This way, if you end up with gestational diabetes, you have a good baseline to work with. For pregnant women who have already been diagnosed with diabetes, schedule an exam within the first trimester and again a year after the birth of your baby.
If you are looking for quality diabetic eye care in Chester or Petersburg, contact Legacy Eye Care today. Our optometrist will evaluate your condition to diagnose any underlying eye conditions and provide treatment accordingly. For more information or to schedule a diabetic eye exam, call us today or request an appointment online.