2 years ago

How eye tests can spot diabetes

Diabetic eye diseases are one of the leading causes of blindness across the world and often have no early warning signs. Regular eye tests can spot these issues as soon as they present themselves. Early detection, timely treatment, and appropriate follow-up care are the only ways to prevent vision loss.

Keeping on top of your eye tests

Getting your eyes regularly tested is a great way to keep on top of your eye health and be one step ahead of any issues that may arise. These frequent checks allow our optometrists to spot changes to the makeup of your eye so we can take action as soon as possible.

At our practices, we offer a range of different eye tests and checks to suit you, depending on what you’re after. You can book; a regular eye test, a contact lens check, a combination of both, or an eye test with a free contact lens trial and assessment*.

Diabetes and the eyes

For those who are unfamiliar, diabetes (T1) is a lifelong condition that causes an individual’s blood glucose to become too high, often resulting in higher blood pressure levels. Having high blood sugar and pressure levels in turn can cause serious damage to the blood vessels, narrowing them, rupturing them, or even causing them to leak.

Unknown to most, diabetic people’s eyes and eyesight are often heavily impacted. This is because blood vessels are a very important part of the eye, responsible for supplying blood to the light-sensitive retina. So when these blood vessels are damaged, the retina cannot get the full blood supply it relies on, and as a result, cannot work in the way that it should, leading to diabetic retinopathy and blindness if left undiagnosed and untreated.

So how can we spot it?

Diabetic retinopathy can cause a lot of changes to occur in your eyes, so through our testing and photographing, we are able to capture these changes and take any actions we need to further prevent any damage.

Eye drops are first used to help dilate your pupils and give us a clearer vision of the eye. From there, by taking a digital photo of the back of your eye with a retinal camera, we can get a high-quality image of your eye, vessels and all, which is then sent off for examination. Specialists can then compare your eyes and point out any abnormalities, areas for concern, or noticeable issues.

If some issues are picked up while carefully reviewing the images of your eyes, you will then be referred to an eye specialist doctor for further support. In most cases, the majority of these changes are treatable, and potentially reversible if picked up early.

Next steps…

Keeping your eyes healthy and having regular eye tests are important in not only preventing these issues in the first place but in helping keep them from getting worse if they’ve already surfaced – especially if there is a family history of diabetes or eye-related illnesses.

The NHS recommends that adults get their eyes checked once every 2 years, and once a year for those with diabetes. If you’re looking to get your eyes checked, then book an eye test today by getting in touch with your local store…

Weymouth: 16 St Mary’s Street, DT4 8PB | 01305 750936

New Milton: 20A Station Road, BH25 6JX | 01425 629827

Romsey: 3-5 The Hundred, SO51 8DG | 017945 13258

Wimborne: 1 The Square, BH21 1JA | 01202 887081

Lymington, 52D High St, SO41 9AG | 01590 671655

*We do NOT offer Diabetic retinopathy in our stores, this blog is intended as an educational source. If you are looking to have a Diabetic retinopathy service, please get in touch with your GP for the next steps.

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