If you have diabetes, the high glucose levels in your blood can cause vision problems that could eventually lead to blindness if left untreated. Jerry Gundersheimer, OD provides diabetic eye exams for patients of all ages at Dr. Gundersheimer’s Eye-Do Optical in Sherman, Texas. He monitors your eye health and offers treatment to protect your vision if you show signs of eye diseases like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, or cataracts. If you have diabetes, you can count on expert eye care from Dr. Gundersheimer. Call or make an appointment online today.
How does diabetes affect my vision?
Diabetes disrupts the way your body converts glucose into energy and as a result, you have higher blood sugar levels. The extra blood sugar increases the pressure on your blood vessels, including the blood vessels in your eyes.
When the delicate blood vessels in your eyes are damaged by your increased glucose levels, they begin to leak extra fluid into your eyeball. While your eyes have a natural drainage system, too much of a fluid buildup can damage the interior structures of your eyes, including your macula, retina, and optic nerve.
The damage to your blood vessels can also cause scar tissue and clots to develop. Over time, this tissue damage can cause retinal detachment and blindness.
Not only can damage to your interior eye structures disrupt your vision, but it can also lead to conditions like diabetic retinopathy and macular edema, which contribute to vision loss.
How is a diabetic eye exam different from a regular eye exam?
As a diabetic, you should have an eye exam every year. In addition to the standard vision and eye health tests of a comprehensive eye exam, Dr. Gundersheimer also carefully monitors your eyes for signs of retina damage.
He dilates your pupils with special eyedrops so he can examine the interior of your eyes more closely. Even if you don’t have diabetes, you may need to have a pupil dilation exam every now and then.
What is diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease that develops as a complication of diabetes. Diabetes damages the blood vessels in your eyes, creating scar tissue and other problems on your retina. Your retina is the part of your eye where light focuses and the information is picked up by your optic nerve before being sent to your brain.
Diabetic retinopathy doesn’t usually cause symptoms in its early stages, but it can lead to blindness. If you have diabetes, you can reduce your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy by working with your physician to control your disease and manage your blood sugar levels.
Dr. Gundersheimer can work with your physician to help protect your eye health and vision with regular exams and customized treatments.
If you have diabetes and haven’t had an eye exam within the last year, call or schedule an appointment today.