Nearly 3.3 million individuals in Canada live with Diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of the disease, accounting for nine out of ten cases, with trends predicted to increase dramatically in the next few years.
Many Canadians are unaware of the risks to their eyes with Diabetes. The Canadian Diabetes Association explains these risks:
“Diabetes is a 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, but diabetes’ effect on the retina is the main threat to vision.”
A comprehensive eye exam is your best defense. It can lead to early detection of both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, and can also help to reveal the effects of poor disease management in individuals living with Diabetes. This, in turn, can lead to helpful lifestyle and dietary changes, better treatment compliance, or important changes to medication.
Did you know that a comprehensive eye exam reveals a great deal more than a standard sight test?
Sight test or screening test (performed by a non-doctor): Only measures how well you can see. The individual performing the test is not trained or licensed to test or diagnose the eyes.
Comprehensive eye exam (performed by optometrist or ophthalmologist): Only an eye doctor can conduct a comprehensive eye exam. A high-powered microscope is used to examine the tiny structures inside of your eyes, including a close-up look at your blood vessels, optic nerves, and other complex eye structures, all of which may contain clues to conditions that could pose a serious risk to your health, such as Diabetes.
There really is no comparison!
A doctor of optometry is able to identify underlying health conditions or issues that are frequently detected first through an eye exam. Optometrists can provide referrals to specialists and other healthcare professionals.
We recommend annual eye exams for everyone, but they are particularly critical for individuals living with Diabetes. In our next post, we’ll delve into Diabetic Retinopathy, and how your optometrist can help you avoid this complication of living with Diabetes.
Ready to schedule your next eye exam?