Diabetes is a disease that impacts the way a person’s body regulates their blood glucose levels. While most people are aware of the sugar aspect of diabetes, not everyone is aware that diabetics need to take special precautions when it comes to their eye care. If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with diabetes, they should be under the care of an ophthalmologist with a concentration in diabetic eye care.
The Importance of Routine Eye Care
Conditions such as diabetic retinopathy start out very small. This means that you may not notice any damage is being done until it is too late to regain any lost vision. Our eyes are not always forgiving and lost vision is routinely lost forever. For this reason alone, diabetic people need to be seen every year or every six months, routinely, according to their ophthalmologist’s recommendation. These appointments shouldn’t be skipped even if you don’t wear corrective lenses or you believe your prescription is still good.
When to Request an Appointment
It can be hard to know if you are experiencing a true eye issue. Everyone experiences eye fatigue, strain, glare and the occasional headache. What you want to look out for is changes to visual acuity. For diabetics, any change in night vision needs to be tended to as soon as possible. If you notice a “shimmering” or waviness to your vision, you need to make an appointment right away. If you have an increase in floaters or are having headaches, make an appointment. It is better to be too cautious than to delay and find out you have suffered irreparable damage to your eyes.
The Dilated Pupil Exam
Our ophthalmologist, Dr. Patel, will likely want to dilate your pupils with special eye drops at each appointment. This allows her to see the entire retina at the back of your eye. When your pupils aren’t fully dilated, the edges of the retina are obscured and the exam isn’t as thorough. This could lead to a missed problem. Don’t make the mistake of declining this important part of your exam. Arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home if public transport isn’t available. It’s worth it to ensure your retinas are healthy, doubly so for diabetic people.
If you or someone you care about has diabetes and has been considering eye care in the Wichita, KS area, feel free to call Wichita Vision for an appointment. We have the experience to tend to the unique needs of diabetic patients and are committed to safeguarding your sight against potential issues.