Diabetes is the inability for the body to regulate the sugar levels within the blood. There are two primary types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is commonly called "Juvenile Diabetes” as it is commonly diagnosed at an early age. Type 2 is commonly called "Diet-induced Diabetes” as it is usually associated with an unmoderated diet and lack of exercise. Certain factors contribute to the likelihood of developing diabetes, such as increased age, ethnicity, medications, and diet and exercise.
Diabetes can cause significant impact on the systems of the body by causing damage to the small blood vessels. Diabetic damage is related to how long you have been diagnosed, and your diabetic control. Poor diabetic control over an extended period will eventually cause damage to the eyes.
Diabetic Eye Disease is a condition where the effects of diabetes have started to cause damage to the small blood vessels of the eyes. Diabetic Eye Disease can affect one eye more than the other and without appropriate screening, management and control can cause blindness.
Diabetic patients are requested to see their optometrist every year for a dilated pupil exam. This involves using eyedrops to temporarily dilate the pupils. The person cannot drive for several hours and will be very light sensitive. The purpose of dilating the pupils is to visualise the peripheral area of the retina that would be missed without a dilated exam. When your optometrist is examining your retina, they are assessing your blood vessels and looking for signs of early damage. Diabetes can cause vision loss through many different mechanisms with swelling at the macula (the central area of the retina) and cataract being the most common. However, diabetes can begin to cause damage to your retina without vision loss. These signs of damage can mean that you need to consult your GP to for tighter control of your diabetes or it may require treatment by an ophthalmologist.
If you are diabetic and haven’t had your eyes examined in more 12 months, please call and make an appointment with us at the Eyewear Shop and ensure you have means to be driven home, as well as bringing sunglasses.