Diabetes can cause major changes inside the delicate blood vessels within your eyes, leading to blurry vision or even vision loss if untreated. At Harrisburg Eye Associates in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, expert ophthalmologist Alexander Szeles, DO, and his highly trained team offer diabetic eye exams to help identify changes in the eyes early. With early detection, you can stop further damage and save your vision. Call the office or book an appointment online today to learn more about diabetic eye exams.
Everyone needs eye exams, but people with diabetes are especially vulnerable to eye problems and require special care.
With diabetes, you have high blood sugar levels. This can cause blood vessel damage, particularly in and around the retina (the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye).
Some common diabetes issues include:
In diabetic retinopathy, the retinal blood vessels weaken, bulge, or leak into the retina. The disease can progress until some blood vessels shut down. This causes new abnormal blood vessels to grow on the retina’s surface.
Those new blood vessels can cause hemorrhages in the eye or even retinal detachment, in which the retina separates from the back of the eye.
Diabetic retinopathy can cause serious visual impairment like blurry eyesight and black splotches in the visual field.
Some people with diabetic retinopathy develop a serious complication called diabetic macular edema. It affects the macula, the part of the retina that gives you the sharp vision you need to read, drive, or recognize faces.
The disease causes swelling in the macula. It can severely disrupt your focus and make many visual tasks impossible.
In addition to the risks of diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema, people with diabetes have roughly twice the average risk of developing cataracts and glaucoma.
Diabetic eye exams involve routine eye health evaluations and advanced imaging of the inner eye. Using state-of-the-art imaging, the Harrisburg Eye Associates team views the back of your eye — including the retina, blood vessels, and the optic nerve — in great detail.
They may also capture photographs of the back of your eye, which helps them monitor your eyes over time. Depending on your specific needs, they may do additional specialized tests to check the nerves, blood vessels, and other eye structures.
Harrisburg Eye Associates recommends annual diabetic eye exams for anyone with any type of diabetes. If you experience a new eye problem, like sudden blurry eyesight or a decrease in vision, contact the office right away.
Keeping up with your annual diabetic eye exams and seeking help for new problems is the best way to keep your vision strong if you have diabetes. Call Harrisburg Eye Associates or book an appointment online today.