Diabetes and eye tests
Why are regular eye exams necessary?
Early detection, timely treatment, and appropriate follow-up care of diabetic eye disease can protect against vision loss. Diabetes can affect many parts of the eye and diabetic eye disease has the potential to cause severe vision loss and even blindness if left untreated. Not only that, but some diabetic changes often goes unnoticed until vision loss occurs by which time valuable time in treatment might have been lost.
How often should I have an eye exam?
People with diabetes should get a comprehensive eye exam with an optometrist or ophthalmologist at least once a year and more often if advised. Eye tests for people with diabetes are generally covered by the NHS and are therefore often free of charge.
Is treatment available?
Diabetic retinopathy can be treated with several therapies, either used individually or in combination.
Which parts of the eye can be affected by diabetes?
All parts of the retina can be affected, and damage to the macula can cause major problems. Diabetes may affect the lens, and can cause cataracts and glaucoma.
How does diabetes cause eye problems?
Diabetic retinopathy involves changes to retinal blood vessels that can cause them to bleed or leak fluid, distorting vision and if severe, extensive damage.
How can I minimise the risk to my vision?
Controlling diabetes by taking medications as prescribed, staying physically active, and maintaining a healthy diet can prevent or delay vision loss.
How serious is diabetic eye disease?
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes and a leading cause of blindness among working-age adults.