Why the Annual Diabetic Exam Is So Important?
1. Eye damage can occur before pain, visual blurring, or other symptoms
With diabetic retinopathy, there are often no symptoms until it has reached an advanced stage and causes rapid permanent vision loss. Your annual diabetic exam can spot it early, however, when it is treatable. Ideally treatment occurs before any loss of vision to maintain good 20/20 vision. During the exam, you will also be checked for cataracts, glaucoma, and other eye problems common in diabetics .
2. The earlier eye disease is found, the better
Diabetic damage to the eye needs to be addressed as soon as possible for the best outcome. In between annual exams, report symptoms like those below to your ophthalmologist right away. You can usually see an Apex Eye ophthalmologist the same day you call for urgent matters.
- eye pain
- double vision
- difficulty reading
- halos around lights
- sudden appearance of spots or floaters
- objects that look larger or smaller than normal
- a dark or empty spot in center of your vision
- difficulty seeing well at night
- flashing lights
- droopy eyelid
- a dark curtain moving from peripheral vision toward central vision
These symptoms can mean something as simple as a prescription change for your glasses or contacts, or may signal a diabetic change.
3. Excellent treatments are available if diabetic eye disease is caught early and managed properly
When diabetic eye disease is found early and managed diligently by a board-certified ophthalmologist, it can by stopped or slowed. By training and education, ophthalmologists are the physicians uniquely qualified to diagnose, manage and treat the eye disorders associated with diabetes.
4. The eyes are an open window to the blood vessels. It is the only place in the body where doctors can look at blood vessels. If diabetic changes are found in the eye, it is likely changes are happening throughout the body.
Your annual diabetic eye exam can be an early warning sign of other physical changes that need to be addressed. At Apex, we always share exam results with your primary care physician right away so any issues can be further explored.