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November is Diabetes Awareness Month

And Why You Should Never Skip Your Annual Eye Exam

November may be best known for turkey and dressing, pecan and pumpkin pies (yum!), Black Friday shopping. But this month also marks Diabetes Awareness Month and Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. It’s the ideal time, but in truth, there’s never a bad time, to shine a spotlight on this debilitating (and potentially sight-stealing) disease that affects more than 30 million Americans.

At Eye Medical Clinic, we want you to have all the facts where your vision health is concerned. Here are 7 facts you need to know about diabetes and how it can affect your vision:

You can develop diabetic eye disease without showing ANY symptoms.
In fact, diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of blindness among adults between the ages of 20 and 74.

At any given time, people with diabetes could develop diabetic eye disease.
When blood sugar levels remain elevated over a long period, complications can occur throughout your body, including your eyes.

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina, which is light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye. As the disease progresses, blood vessels become blocked and prevent areas of the retina from receiving vital blood and nutrients.

Diabetic macular edema is a complication of diabetic retinopathy.
It is caused by damaged blood vessels that swell and leak fluid into the macula (which is responsible for sharp, central vision). Over time, this swelling can lead to vision loss.

Other vision complications from diabetes include glaucoma and cataracts.
Individuals with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts at a younger age and are twice as likely to develop glaucoma as are non-diabetics. Regular eye exams, early detection, and timely disease management can help protect against further vision loss.

If you have diabetic eye disease, you face a very real risk of losing your vision.
However, it’s possible to reduce the risk of diabetes-related blindness. You have the power to help protect against diabetes-related vision loss!

You should have an annual dilated eye exam.
It can help detect things that a regular vision test cannot and it can also help identify more serious vision problems.

Don’t Skip Your Annual Sight-Saving Exam

Annual comprehensive eye exams are important (critical for people with diabetes) as they can reveal hidden signs of disease, allowing for more timely treatment. This is why the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends people with diabetes have one annually or more often as recommended by their ophthalmologist.

During a comprehensive eye exam at Eye Medical Clinic, we will do so much more than determining your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses. We will also check your eyes for any eye disease, assess how your eyes work together as a team and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your overall health.

At Eye Medical Clinic, your comprehensive eye exam will include:

  • a visual acuity test to measure how sharp your vision is
  • a motility exam to see how well your eyes work together and to rule out strabismus (crossed eyes)
  • refraction to determine your best-corrected vision prescription
  • tests to assess your risk for developing glaucoma
  • pupil dilation to help detect cataracts, macular degeneration and other serious eye conditions

At Eye Medical Clinic, we want our patients to enjoy a high quality of life while managing their diabetes. We have extensive experience in the diagnosis and management of diabetic eye disease so that every patient we serve can See Every Moment.

If you have diabetes, schedule a comprehensive eye exam at Eye Medical Clinic today to protect yourself from preventable vision loss.

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