A local optometrist is a doctor who specializes in vision care. If you have diabetes, it’s important that you see your local optometrist every year for vision testing, measuring your prescription and screening. People with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are at a higher risk of developing certain eye-related diabetes complications, including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts. Also, diabetes affects the blood vessels, and the back of the eye is the only part of the body where a local optometrist can see the blood vessels directly. If you require surgery for an eye condition such as cataract surgery, your local optometrist will refer you to an ophthalmologist, which is a doctor who performs eye surgeries.
Because good blood glucose control is essential in preventing diabetes-related eye complications, patients need to make sure they’re eating a low-glycemic diet, getting regular eye and foot exams with a local optometrist, seeing a local family physician and more. If you have diabetes, you will probably work with a number of health care providers, such as a local endocrinologist, a registered dietitian or nutritionist and of course an optometrist and/or local ophthalmologist. If you’d like more information about how a local optometrist can help you manage your diabetes, talk to your local family physician.
nce you have been diagnosed as having diabetes, you need to get regular eye exams. You may not realize when you have eye disease, your vision can be 20/20, even though there’s bleeding in the back of the eye.
Only your eye doctor can look inside that eye and tell you that you’re having a problem. Whether it is by looking, or by doing tests such as optical optical coherence tomography or photographs, the doctor needs to look inside your eyes to be able to tell if you have a problem. You won’t feel any pain, you may not experience any vision loss, but you may even be on the verge of having serious vision problems and not know it.
It requires a minimum of annual eye exams, and depending on if your sugars are very high, the exams are maybe more frequent. Once your sugars are controlled, you still need exams, because the damage is done when the sugars are high. You may have bleeding or swelling in the retina caused by damage that was done five years ago.
So even after you start controlling your sugars, they’re in the normal range, your doctor’s telling you how wonderful your sugars are, you still need eye exams because you’re still diabetic and you can still show signs of damage.
After treatment, the same rules apply. You’re still diabetic, and you need to be monitored, because the eye disease can progress, despite good sugar control. As long as you have the disease of diabetes, you must monitor for its consequences. It is no different than going to your doctor and monitoring for kidney disease, or heart disease, even though you think you’re healthy and feel healthy.
The doctor may tell you you’re doing well, but it requires ongoing monitoring. After you’ve had treatment such as injections and lasers, the amount of treatment may taper down. You may have it less often, you may require less office visits, but you do require some sort of monitoring.
For more questions, talk to your eye doctor, or to set up a monitoring plan, discuss it with your eye doctor.