Diabetes has far-reaching implications throughout your body, and your eyes are one area that can be affected. Diabetics are at higher risk for serious eye conditions, such as glaucoma and cataracts. They are also at risk of developing a condition called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic eye exams are critical for protection for diabetic patients, helping them take control of their eye health and protect their vision from these serious conditions.
If you have diabetes, you need to have your eyes checked regularly. Contact Houston Eye Doctor today to schedule a diabetic eye exam. We have eye doctor clinics in Odessa, Lubbock, Irving, and Houston that are ready to assist you with the proper care for your eyes.
What to Expect at a Diabetic Eye Exam
A diabetic eye exam is an eye exam designed to detect diabetic eye problems, including diabetic retinopathy. This exam involves dilation of the eyes, which gives the doctor the ability to see the retina and examine them for any signs of retinopathy.
A diabetic eye exam can be performed by either an optometrist or an ophthalmologist. However, if diabetic eye disease is found, an ophthalmologist will take over care to provide treatment. Having the right eye doctor assisting you with your diabetic eye care treatment is critical to preventing the progression of diabetic eye disease.
What Are the Signs of Diabetic Retinopathy?
One of the challenges with diagnosing diabetic retinopathy is the fact that in the early stages, it causes no symptoms. As it progresses, however, it causes serious, permanent damage to the eyes and can lead to blindness. Some of the early symptoms to watch for include:
- Appearance of eye floaters
- Dark, empty areas in the field of vision
- Blurred vision
- Focusing problems
- Altered color vision
- Total or partial vision loss
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and know you have diabetes, schedule an appointment at one of our Houston Eye Doctor facilities right away. The sooner you can start diabetic eye retinopathy treatment, following all of your doctor’s recommendations, the sooner you can start taking measures to protect your vision.
How Is Diabetic Retinopathy Treated?
If diabetic retinopathy is discovered at your diabetic eye exam, the Houston Eye Doctor team will create a list of recommendations to stop the progression of the disease. Proper control of blood sugar with the help of your medical doctor is also important, but your eye care will focus on stopping the progression of the retinopathy.
Unfortunately, advanced diabetic eye disease is not reversible, so you need to ensure you are getting proper screening and treatment early. Treatments include watchful waiting, surgery, laser treatments, or vision assistance devices. Some patients will experience eyesight improvement with treatment, but any permanent vision damage is not reversible. That’s why early detection through routine eye exams is so important.
How Often Should I Have a Diabetic Eye Exam?
You should have your first diabetic eye exam not long after your diagnosis of diabetes. Because diabetes often has gone undetected or years, it’s possible that you are already suffering damage. After your first exam, you will need to have an eye exam every year to ensure you are not suffering from retinopathy. Discuss the recommended frequency with your doctor when you come in for your exam.
Whether you are newly diagnosed as diabetic or have had the condition for years, trust Houston Eye Doctor to help. Schedule an appointment today to discuss your diabetic eye care needs with our team. We are conveniently located in Odessa, Houston, Irving, and Lubbock!