How Often Should Diabetics Have Eye Exams?

Dr. Mai-Vy Hoang 11/02/2016

eye-exam-calendar.pngRight now there are more than 2 million people in Texas living with diabetes, according to the Department of State Health Services. They are young and old, male and female, tall, short, skinny and struggling to control their weight. But despite these differences, all of them should be concerned about the toll diabetes can take on their eyes.

Diabetes can cause glaucoma and lead to cataracts and even cause vision loss. In fact, diabetic retinopathy, which causes the blood vessels in your retina to leak fluid, is one of the leading causes of blindness among working-age adults.  

To make matters worse for people living with diabetes, the symptoms often don't appear until the damage has already been done. But your eye doctor can catch the problems before they do permanent damage — if you get regular eye exams.

Why Should Diabetic Patients Have Their Eyes Examined?

If you have diabetes, it's possible (and even likely) that the doctor who helps you manage your diabetes checks your eyes during your regular office visits. This is a great start, but you still need to see your eye doctor on a regular basis.

Eye doctors have specialized tools and technology that allow them to see the back of your eyes much more clearly than your primary care physician can.

For example, your eye doctor can take pictures and magnify the blood vessels in your eyes, look at the back of your eyes (where serious problems often show up), and inspect your entire eye to ensure that it hasn't been damaged due to diabetes.

Only an optometrist or an ophthalmologist can detect the early signs of retinopathy.

How Often Diabetic Patients Visit The Eye Doctor?

In general, you should see your eye care professional at least once every year for a thorough eye exam during which your eyes are dilated. Simply relying on your regular primary care physician to screen your vision isn't enough to catch problems while they are in their early stages.

In addition, you should see your eye care professional if:

your vision blurs or fluctuates

you have difficulty reading

you have double vision

your eyes hurt

your eyes become red

your peripheral vision fails

These symptoms could require immediate medical treatment. If you are living with diabetes, don't wait until you notice a problem with your vision to see your eye doctor. Make an appointment with our doctors at Broome Optical today make sure you can see clearly tomorrow and for the rest of your life.

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