• 28 AUG 17
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    How Comprehensive Eye Exams Help Catch Diabetes

    How Comprehensive Eye Exams Help Catch Diabetes

    Before we jump into the scary stats, let us start off with the hope, a comprehensive eye exam is one way to help catch diabetes and our clinic is the best place to get your Toronto eye exam.

    It is estimated that more than 5.7 million Canadians have pre-diabetes. Nearly 50% of those with pre-diabetes will go on to develop type II diabetes. What’s worse, many people don’t even know they have it.

    Diabetes and Vision

    You may be wondering, “What do my eyes have to do with diabetes?” Well, people with diabetes have too much sugar in their blood. When sugar remains in the blood over a long period of time, complications can occur to the body’s cells and nerves, including the eyes.

    For this reason, people living with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing a number of eye diseases. According to Diabetes Canada:

    “Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in Canada. People with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts at a younger age and are twice as likely to develop glaucoma.”

    Here are some common eye complications associated with diabetes:

    Blurry Vision: Blurry vision may be a sign that you need new prescription glasses, but it may also be a sign of diabetes. High blood sugar can cause the lens of your eye to swell, which affects your ability to see.

    Cataracts: The lens of your eye, which allows you to see and focus, is normally clear. But a cataract clouds the lens, which can cause blurred vision and glare.

    Glaucoma: Glaucoma occurs when pressure builds up in the eye when fluids can’t drain as they should. This pressure can cause damage to nerves and blood vessels within the eye, causing a gradual loss of vision. People with diabetes are 40% more likely to develop glaucoma than people without diabetes.

    Diabetic Retinopathy: High blood sugar levels can damage the retina of the eye. The retina is a group of cells at the back of the eye that take in light and turn it into images. If diabetic retinopathy is not treated early, it could lead to blindness.

    Sight Test Versus a Comprehensive Eye Exam

    A sight test is performed by someone who is not a doctor and is not licensed to diagnose the eyes. Its primary goal is to measure how well you can see.

    A comprehensive eye exam is performed by an eye doctor, such as an optometrist or ophthalmologist. It uses a high-powered microscope to examine the tiny and complex structures of your eyes, including the blood vessels and optic nerves. Any abnormalities in these eye structures can be clues to underlying health conditions, such as diabetes.

    Unfortunately, diabetes is on the rise, and many people don’t even know they have it. As the Canadian Diabetes Association points out, some long-term complications associated with diabetes – such as heart disease and nerve damage – often present themselves as early as the pre-diabetes stage. Thus, it’s important to have measures in place to determine if you have diabetes.

    Luckily, early detection of diabetes, along with proper treatment, can help prevent against vision loss. Annual eye exams are crucial for people all ages, especially for those with diabetes.

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