Diabetic Eye Exams
Diabetes is an invasive disease that impacts almost every organ and system in the body. Vision can be impacted to the point of blindness, which is why it is important to monitor changes in eye function. Diabetic retinopathy can occur in people with type 1 or 2 diabetes, resulting in damage to the blood vessels in the retina. At Primary Care Joliet, we perform diabetic eye exams to test for diabetic retinopathy at our clinics in Joliet and Wilmington, IL.
What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Excessive blood sugar can cause many problems in the body, including in your eyes. If diabetes is not effectively managed, the high blood sugar or glucose can damage the blood vessels in the retina, a condition called diabetic retinopathy. The eyes will try to replace the damaged blood vessels, but the new vessels are weaker and cannot perform at the same level. The result is diminished vision and patients may have a higher risk for cataracts and glaucoma. Some of the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include:
- Floaters in the field of vision
- Hard time focusing
- Changes in color vision
- Areas you cannot see within your field of vision
- Blurry vision
- Loss of vision
Anyone with diabetes should have routine diabetic eye exams to monitor changes in their blood vessels and vision. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that most people with diabetes have eye examinations performed annually to monitor for signs of diabetic retinopathy and other eye conditions related to their disease. At Primary Care Joliet, we can perform these tests at our medical centers for our patients with type 1 or 2 diabetes.
What to Expect
To check the eyes for diabetic retinopathy, the eyes must be dilated. The doctor will dilate the eyes and perform diagnostic tests to check for blood vessel damage and other conditions. A standard eye exam to check vision should also be performed.
Diabetic eye problems should be monitored to determine the best treatments to maintain vision. Effectively managing glucose with medication and lifestyle changes can greatly reduce the risk of vision loss, but there are treatments available for diabetic retinopathy. Our primary care team at Primary Care Joliet can help you manage your diabetes with diagnostic testing and treatment, including annual diabetic eye exams. Call our Joliet or Wilmington, IL, clinic to schedule an appointment.