Diabetes is a disease that affects the way we process food for energy and growth. With all forms of diabetes—type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes—the body has trouble converting sugar in the blood into energy, resulting in a host of potential health problems.
Diabetes increases the likelihood that common diabetes-related vision problems or diseases might occur:
- Diabetics are prone to developing cataracts (a clouding of the eye’s lens) at an earlier age.
- People with diabetes are almost 50% more likely to develop glaucoma, an eye disorder that damages the optic nerve often marked by an increase of internal eye pressure.
- Macular edema (and macular degeneration) are more common in diabetics due to malfunctioning blood vessels in the middle region of the retina responsible for central, sharp vision.
- Most notably, diabetes can result in diabetic retinopathy; an eye disease that affects the blood vessels in the all-important retina. Nearly 45 percent of Americans diagnosed with diabetes have some stage of diabetic retinopathy.
That’s why there’s no separating diabetes and vision. If you have diabetes, then you should understand vision problems that increase in likelihood as a result of the disease.
Over 21 million people in the United States have diabetes, with an estimated additional 6 million people unaware they have a form of the disease. What’s more, an estimated 54 million Americans ages 40 to 74 have prediabetes, a condition that puts them at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. According to a recent American Optometric Association survey, diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults ages 20 to 74.
Surprisingly, a number of eye problems are asymptomatic in their early stages, so they can develop without you feeling any pain or noticing any changes to your eyesight. Signs of diseases such as diabetes, macular degeneration, glaucoma, retinal tears or detachments, and other health problems such as high blood pressure can be seen with a thorough exam of the retina. Detecting eye diseases before they begin to cause symptoms is typically associated with more successful treatment.
Digital Retinal Imaging provides:
Digital Retinal Imaging allows your eye doctor to evaluate the health of the back of your eye, the retina. It is critical to confirm the health of the retina, optic nerve and other retinal structures. The digital camera snaps a high-resolution digital picture of your retina. This picture clearly shows the health of your eyes and is used as a baseline to track any changes in your eyes in future eye examinations. We use the state of the art iCam retinal camera, which offers high quality color images in a compact and device which provides rich color imaging.
- A view of the retina, giving your doctor a more detailed view than he/she can get by other means.
- The opportunity for you to view and discuss the digital image of your eye with your doctor at the time of your exam.
- A digital image to show a healthy eye or detect disease.
- A permanent record for your file, which allows us to view your images each year to look for changes.
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
Offering our patients the most state of the art Optovue OCT (optical Coherence Tomography). An Optical Coherence Tomography scan (commonly referred to as an OCT scan) is the latest advancement in imaging technology. Similar to ultrasound, this diagnostic technique employs light rather than sound waves to achieve higher resolution pictures of the structural layers of the back of the eye.
A scanning laser used to analyze the layers of the retina and optic nerve for any signs of eye disease, similar to an CT scan of the eye. It works using light without radiation, and is essential for early diagnosis of diabetic retinal disease, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.
An OCT scan is a noninvasive, painless test. It is performed in about 10 minutes right in our Zanesville eye care clinic. Feel free to contact our office to inquire about an OCT at your next appointment.