Diabetes, One of Many Diseases An Eye Exam Can Detect

According to the 2017 National Diabetes Statistics Report, 30.3 million people have some form of diabetes. Out of that 30.3 million, 7.2 million are undiagnosed.

Diabetes is a complex disease that causes abnormal glucose metabolism as a result of decreased levels of insulin, or insulin resistance. Over time it can lead to serious health problems. Diabetes can be detected in many ways, and one of them is through a comprehensive eye exam, which we do here at Fisher-Swale-Nicholson Eye Center.

With the help of an indirect ophthalmoscope, our ophthalmologists can detect diabetes by looking at the blood vessels in the back of the eye to determine their health. An indirect opthalmoscope is a headband with a light attached to it. Combine the powerful tools of an indirect opthalmoscope with a handheld lens and the ophthalmologist can look at the back of the eye. Swelling of the macula or blot hemorrhaging are signs that indicate a patient could have diabetes.

Complication Due to Diabetes: Vision Loss

Vision loss, or blindness, is another threat to a patient’s health as a result of diabetes. Blindness Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss in patients with diabetes. It occurs when the vessels in the retina are swollen or leaking blood. This complication of diabetes is responsible for 12,000 to 24,000 new cases of blindness each year and is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults 20 to 74 years of age. Again, this disease can be detected using an indirect opthalmoscope.

Can Go Undiagnosed For Years

“Usually the disease has gone undiagnosed for five to seven years,” Dr. Nicholson, optometrist at FSN Eye said. “We’ll notice severe changes in the blood vessels and notify the patient.”

Learning you could have diabetes is scary, but if detected early enough one can make the necessary changes to combat the disease. That is why it is so important to get a yearly comprehensive eye exam with our doctors.

Make an appointment today by calling 815-932-2020