Our optometrist in San Antonio recommends regular diabetic eye exams since they are necessary in order to detect and treat vision threatening problems. Dr. Paul A. Darrow, at The Eyeglass Shop, is available to diagnose, treat, prevent and educate you on all aspects of diabetic eye exams. Our devoted staff is dedicated to restoring, preserving, and enhancing the vision of those patients with diabetes. Even if the doctor who regularly takes care of your diabetes does check your eyes, you still need an eye exam every 1-2 years by an eye doctor who specializes in patients with diabetes.
In the Unites States, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people under the age of 65. With regular eye exams, such as a dilated retinal exam, our optometrist in San Antonio can catch problems early on. Dr. Darrow will check your vision using the Snellen chart of random letters of different sizes. Drops will be administered to see the back of your eye more clearly and Dr. Darrow will look through a magnifying glass, using intense light, to see areas that may be damaged by diabetes. Another device, called a slit lamp, is also used to see the clear surface of your eye.
In addition to increasing your risk of cataracts and glaucoma, diabetes can also cause the harmful eye disease, diabetic retinopathy. As a leading cause of blindness, this is the most common diabetic eye disease in American adults. A healthy retina is necessary for good vision and diabetic retinopathy is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina that may swell and leak fluid. You may not notice any changes to your vision if you have diabetic retinopathy, but over time it can get worse and cause loss of vision. Our optometrist in San Antonio will perform a comprehensive eye exam, which is the only reliable means of detecting diabetic retinopathy.
After your pupil is dilated, a device called an ophthalmoscope will be used to view the retina and determine the extent of the disease. Studies show that strict control of blood sugar levels can significantly lower the risk of vision loss from this disease. Laser surgery is often the first treatment recommended and is focused on leaky areas of your retina, to reabsorb the excess fluid. The main goal of this treatment and the importance of regular diabetic eye exams are to prevent further vision loss.