November is Diabetes Awareness Month
Diabetes is a common systemic disease and occurs when there is too much glucose (a type of sugar) in the blood. Over time, the high amounts of glucose can damage blood vessels and ultimately lead to heart attacks, strokes, and problems with organs, such as our eyes.
Eye-related changes associated with diabetes include frequent changes in glasses prescription, premature cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and diabetic macular edema, to name a few. Early diabetic changes in the eye can often go unnoticed due to lack of symptoms, however can be easily detected during a dilated eye exam. By the time a patient may notice changes in their vision, irreversible visual damage has often occurred.
Controlling diabetes through diet, exercise, and medication, as well as regular checks up with your family doctor and regular eye exams can prevent or delay eye-related complications and vision loss.
The Canadian Association of Optometrists and the Ontario College of Optometrists recommend annual eye exams for patients with diabetes, even in the absence of previous eye-related complications. Luckily, eye exams are covered for those with diabetes on an annual basis. If you have diabetes and have not had an eye exam in the past year, give us a call to schedule your exam to ensure your eyes are at their best!