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Can an Eye Exam Detect Diabetes?

Jul 1, 2024

There’s more to eye exams than just looking at an eye chart and checking your vision. Eye exams can also reveal signs of health problems hiding in your body, such as thyroid disorders, high blood pressure, and even diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects your body’s ability to process blood glucose, also called blood sugar. If diabetes isn’t managed properly, high blood sugar can cause damage to blood vessels throughout your body, including in your eyes. Keep reading to learn how eye exams can detect diabetes and why it’s important for diabetics to prioritize their eye health.  

Eye health and diabetes 

When you go in for a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor is not just checking your vision; they are also examining your overall eye health. Your eye doctor can detect diabetes by looking at the tiny blood vessels in the back of your eye. These vessels can leak fluid or blood when you have diabetic retinopathy, a common complication of diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy can lead to vision loss and even blindness if left untreated.  

A comprehensive eye exam can also uncover other health issues that may be linked to diabetes. For example, people with diabetes are at higher risk of developing glaucoma and cataracts. By scheduling regular diabetic eye exams, you can stay on top of these potential complications and start treatment early to protect your vision. 

As diabetes progresses, you may notice blurry vision, fluctuating vision, or difficulty seeing at night. These symptoms may be caused by high blood sugar levels affecting the lens in the eye. Make sure to talk to your eye doctor about these concerns during your eye exam. They may recommend further testing to check for diabetes or eye conditions.  

The importance of regular eye exams 

Regular eye exams are important for both those with diabetes and anyone at risk of developing this condition. By examining the retina and looking for signs of damage or changes in blood vessels, your eye doctor can detect early stages of diabetic retinopathy and other eye issues associated with diabetes. Your eye doctor may even be able to diagnose diabetes before you experience symptoms like increased thirst or frequent urination. 

Maintaining good blood sugar control is essential for preventing or delaying the onset of diabetic eye complications. Your optometrist may recommend lifestyle changes or adjustments to your treatment plan to help keep your blood sugar levels within a healthy range. It’s also important to work closely with your healthcare provider to keep your blood sugar levels under control.  

At Advanced Vision Care and Cedar Hill Eye Care, we offer diabetic eye exams in Mansfield, Fort Worth, DeSoto, and Cedar Hill as well as professional care to help you maintain good overall eye health. Early detection is key to managing diabetic-related eye issues, so don’t wait until you notice vision changes! The damage has already been done by the time you experience symptoms. Contact us to schedule your appointment and let us help you protect your eyesight!