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Diabetes and your Optometrist

The number of people living with diabetes in Canada is approximately two million.  An alarming fact is that many individuals with diabetes have not been diagnosed and are unaware they have the disease.

Diabetes prevents your body from making or using insulin, which leads to increased sugar levels in your bloodstream.  Diabetes can lead to serious complications and premature death.

What are my vision risks?

Diabetes can cause changes in your vision and can result in cataracts and glaucoma.  The most serious eye problem is diabetic retinopathy, a weakening or swelling of the tiny blood vessels in your eye’s retina.  If diabetic retinopathy is untreated, blindness can result.

Your Optometrist’s role  

Sometimes the early signs of diabetes are detected in a thorough optometric exam.  If you already have diabetes, your eyecare professional can diagnose potential vision- threatening changes in your eyes that may – if treated – prevent blindness.

Treating diabetic retinopathy

Early detection of diabetic retinopathy is crucial because successful treatment is more likely at the initial stage.  Early on, this condition is monitored through eye health exams.  A variety of therapies may be prescribed including laser therapy or, in extreme cases, eye surgery.

Prevent related eye problems

Monitor and maintain control of your diabetes.  Consult your physician regularly and follow instructions about diet, exercise and medication.

See your Optometrist for a thorough eye exam when you are first diagnosed as a diabetic, at least annually thereafter and more frequently if recommended.

Even if you don’t notice any problems, have your eyes examined regularly by an Optometrist.  Let us help!

Central Vision and Hearing is a member of Eye Recommend, Canada's Vision Care Professionals, helping doctors help their patients since 1997. We are proud to be able to help Canadians attain optimal eye health.