What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition in which a person’s body doesn’t utilize glucose (sugar) in the correct or in an efficient manner. Insulin allows people to use sugar for energy. In patients with Diabetes, the insulin may not work correctly, or it may not be produced enough.
If left with inadequate treatment, this results in low use of sugar in the body and rather it stays in the blood. When the sugar stays in the blood, tissue in the body can have problems from having too little sugar and the blood vessels can be damaged from having too much sugar.
Diabetes causes damage to tiny blood vessels on the internal parts of our body. The eyes are the only places that health professionals can directly visualize these small blood vessels, so eye doctors can play an important role in helping with the management of diabetes since they can see the direct effects of the blood sugar.
It is standard of care for patients with Diabetes to have annual eye exams, and sometimes it is required to be seen even more frequently. Primary Care Physicians and Endocrinologists practice many ways to ensure blood sugar in patients with Diabetes is under control. The report from an eye exam is another piece to the puzzle that they utilize in patients’ care.
How Diabetes can Affect the Eyes?
Another reason to have regular eye exams for Diabetes is because it can damage the eyes in many ways, especially if not well controlled. The main thing Diabetes can cause is leaky blood vessels in the back of the eye. The back of the eye is where the light receptors are in the retina. Small areas of leaky blood vessels may not cause vision problems, but at times they can cause swelling that can blur the vision.
There are many other ways Diabetes can show signs of in the eye. Some of these include early onset cataracts, retinal detachments, glaucoma, and dry eye syndrome.
At Gilbert Eyecare the doctors perform careful dilated eye exams, fundus photography (high quality pictures of the back of the eye), and optical coherence tomography (a scan of the retina). These tests are the standard of care for management of the condition and are shown to find the earliest signs of high blood sugar signs in the eye.
Diabetic Eye Care in Virginia Beach and Norfolk
People with the various causes of blood sugar problems (type 1 and 2 Diabetes, LADA, MODY, or even Pre-Diabetes) need to have annual eye exams. These examinations are important to monitor the eye health to look for signs of the blood sugar hurting the eyes. At Gilbert Eyecare, our doctors manage many patients with Diabetes, and they ensure the notes of the exam are sent to patients’ health care providers the day of the appointment to ensure seamless collaboration of care. Call our Virginia Beach (757-425-0200) or Norfolk (757-622-0200) office today for a comprehensive exam.