Diabetes threatens the health of numerous organs and systems of the body, including the eyes and visual system. It raises the risk of serious eye problems that can lead to blindness. One of the most prominent vision-related threats to people with diabetes is diabetic retinopathy, which damages the small blood vessels in the retina. The disease can cause the retina to grow weak, abnormal blood vessels that leak blood and fluid; it can also trigger the growth of scar tissue in the eye.
Routine eye exams can catch problems like diabetic retinopathy in their early stages and keep them at bay. The team at Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons encourages people with diabetes to be diligent about scheduling regular eye exams to stay ahead of vision problems.
Eye Exams Can Detect Problems before Symptoms Appear
In many cases, diabetic retinopathy does not cause any symptoms until it has advanced significantly. Someone with the disease wouldn’t know they are affected until they are at risk of losing vision. However, ophthalmologists are trained to identify signs of the disease in its early stages. With special testing and technology, our ophthalmologists can get a clear view of the back of the eye to check for abnormal blood vessels and other indications of a problem.
Early Detection Can Stop or Slow the Disease
The earlier an eye disease is caught, the better. Cases of diabetic retinopathy that are caught early are more easily manageable. Treatment is more likely to slow or stop the disease, or sometimes even reverse vision loss. The proper management of diabetic retinopathy can prevent symptoms like eye pain, floaters, flashes and other visual disturbances that make it difficult to read or perform everyday tasks.
Changes in the Eye May Indicate Changes in Other Parts of the Body
Sometimes a diabetic eye exam can reveal changes in the eye that mirror changes in other parts of the body. The ophthalmologist may see something of concern and alert the rest of the patient’s medical team to explore these changes further.
Schedule an Eye Exam with Our Team
We recommend patients with diabetes visit us every one to two years for an eye exam (certain patients may need to come more frequently). Or, if you are noticing changes in your vision, you should schedule a screening.
To book an appointment, please call (610) 372-0712 or email our team today.