If you have diabetes, your ophthalmologist should perform an eye exam. With diabetes, high blood sugar can affect tiny blood vessels in the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye. Without treatment, the blood vessels can bleed, blur vision, severely damage the retina, and lead to vision impairment or blindness.
The good news: when doctors detect diabetic retinopathy, they can help prevent vision loss with timely and highly effective treatments.
“Prevention is absolutely the key. If the patient waits until the vision is gone, it’s probably not going to be restored to normal,” a doctor says.
All people with type 1 or type 2 Diabetes should have an eye exam at least once a year as part of a complete eye exam. Early retinopathy may cause no noticeable symptoms, so regular eye exams are crucial for detecting emerging problems.
“A lot of patients tell me, ‘I see fine. Why should I go and see the eye doctor?'” A doctor says. “I tell them, ‘That’s exactly the time to go see the eye doctor because you can keep your vision great.'”