Diabetes puts you at a greater risk for eye diseases like diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.
People living with diabetes should have their eyes examined annually to monitor for the development of eye diseases. Most eye diseases develop unnoticed until they have already caused permanent vision loss. Eye exams ensure you detect developing diseases proactively.
Diabetes can have a profound impact on your eyes, especially if you struggle managing your blood sugar levels. The Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) recommends annual diabetic eye exams for people living with diabetes, and Alberta Health provides annual financial coverage for these specific health exams as well.
Staying on top of your eye health is vital. It is the difference between many more years of great vision quality and the irreversible development of tunnel vision. As dramatic as it may sound, most eye diseases initially form without symptoms. For people with diabetes, the diabetic eye exam goes into more depth to check for signs of diseases like diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema (DME).
This exam uses dilation to provide greater insight into your retina; most patients prefer to bring a driver with them.
From start to finish, an diabetic eye exam takes under an hour to complete. Request an appointment to schedule your comprehensive dilated diabetic eye exam.
Diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema are additional concerns for people living with diabetes. Nearly 80% of people living with diabetes for more than 20 years will develop some form of diabetic eye disease. Of them, nearly 50% will be unaware.
Diabetic retinopathy is a serious eye disease that can lead to total blindness (in advanced stages). It has multiple stages, and initially develops without symptoms.
Stages of Diabetic Retinopathy:
Diabetic Macular Edema is the buildup of fluid on the retina. About half of all people with diabetic retinopathy will also develop Diabetic Macular Edema. Diabetic Macular Edema can form at any stage of retinopathy’s development, though is more likely to occur the in retinopathy’s advanced stages.
During an diabetic eye exam, several tests are performed that can be used to detect for retinopathy or Diabetic Macular Edema, including advanced retinal imaging and OCT imaging equipment. In a dilated diabetic eye exam, these tests are performed in addition to the eye being dilated for better viewing of the back of the eye.