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Diabetic Eye Exam

Caring for the Diabetic Eye

You probably already understand that diabetes is a disease affecting the sugar content of the blood. But has it ever occurred to you that, since blood powers the entire body, it can have serious effects on the eye?

For people with diabetes, eye health needs to be monitored extremely closely. Left unchecked, diabetes can result in permanent and significant vision loss. So how can this devastating result be avoided? The first step is an eye exam.

The Importance of the Diabetic Eye Exam

Diabetic patients should receive an eye exam at least once a year after diagnosis. This allows the optometrist to look for any signs of diabetic eye disease, monitor any previously diagnosed eye diseases, and ensure the patient’s overall eye health is relatively strong.

Even if the  doctor that treats and manages your diabetes checks your eyes, you still need to see an optometrist or ophthalmologist regularly. Only an actual eye doctor has the technology to conduct the tests you require.

Using Top Notch Technology to Care for Port Moody’s Diabetic Patients

At Port Moody Eye Care, we are absolutely dedicated to staying on the cutting edge of medical science. We have invested heavily in technology to help us get the most accurate idea of your eye health.

Through our retinal camera, Humphrey visual field, Spectralis OCT, and other remarkable machines, we can often catch eye diseases like diabetic retinopathy before they cause too much damage to your eyesight.

What We’re Looking For

When we conduct a diabetic eye exam, we’re looking for diabetic eye disease. This term refers to any number of eye diseases and conditions commonly triggered by diabetes. The most common, and potentially most harmful of these conditions is called diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic Retinopathy

According to Diabetes Canada, more cases of blindness are caused by diabetes than anything else in Canada. Almost all Canadians with diabetes are experiencing some form of diabetic retinopathy: the most common diabetes-related eye problem.

When you have a high blood glucose level for an extended period of time, it begins to damage the blood vessels in your eyes; particularly those in your retinas. These blood vessels begin to bleed into the eye, decreasing your vision.

As the disease progresses, the retina gets less and less oxygen-bearing blood, causing it to slowly decay. Your eye attempts to replace the damaged blood vessels by growing new, irregular ones. These new blood vessels contribute to the leakage into the vitreous, adding to the vision loss.

There are often no symptoms in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy, which is why it’s so important to have regular eye exams. However, once the disease starts to advance, patients may notice:

  • Blurry vision
  • Sudden loss of vision
  • Sudden flashes of light
  • Spots or shadows in the field of vision

There is no cure for diabetic retinopathy. There are, however, a few options to slow down progression or to prevent vision loss.

Injections of a specific anti-inflammatory drug can help shrink irregular blood vessels. Doctors can also remove the vitreous (the fluid inside of your eye) and replace it. This helps to mitigate bleeding and remove any scarring.

Ultimately, the best way to avoid vision loss is to prevent diabetic retinopathy with regular eye exams, and effectively managing your blood sugar levels.

Come See Us

Visit our office across from Port Moody City Hall in the Heritage Mountain Plaza, Right next to Shoppers Drug Mart.

Address

260-221 Ioco Rd
Port Moody, BC V3H 4H2

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