Diabetes: the name alone can strike fear into our hearts, and the threat of being diagnosed is ever prevalent in the hearts of millions of Americans every year.
However, as the threat of diabetes persists, so does the support for those that are afflicted.
There are thousands of resources around the country that focus on preventing the disease, detecting it in its early stages, and steps to take once the disease is contracted.
Several different types of specialist doctors work tirelessly to combat diabetes, but is your optometrist one of them?
It turns out the answer is yes.
With 1.5 million new cases of diabetes each year, it’s no secret that diabetes can cause a variety of additional health risks. Among those risks are a few very important optical complications, referred to as “diabetic eye diseases.”
These conditions include retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts, all of which can endanger your ability to see.
Glaucoma is associated with diabetes as it occurs after diabetic retinopathy sets in.
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and is the leading cause of blindness in the U.S.
But, how are these conditions connected to optometry?
Standard eye exams cannot detect the early signs of diabetic retinopathy, but a dilated eye exam—which is conducted by an optometrist—is able to detect it.
The reason that a dilated eye exam is able to detect more than a standard eye exam is because when the retina is dilated, it is easier for your optometrist to examine your optic nerve, the blood vessels in the retina, and the back of your eye.
This exam, along with many other specialist exams can be instrumental is not only preventing cataracts or retinopathy, but diabetes as a whole, and can quite literally be a life saver.
With this in mind, consider your next trip to the eye doctor, and what a simple test could mean for your future.
Stay proactive, informed, and safe when it comes to the risk of diabetes.