Annual eye exams are a good practice if you require vision correction. If you have diabetes, they are essential to preserving good health and keeping the effects of the disease under control. Diabetic retinopathy is a serious condition, but it can be controlled with regular monitoring. Even if you do not notice any difference in your vision, make your appointment anyway and assure future eye health. Here are five reasons to maintain your annual eye exams in Oshkosh after a diabetes diagnosis:
- Review symptoms: Your eye doctor will ask specific questions about symptoms. Things you may figure mean nothing could be significant when it comes to your eyesight, but you will not know this unless you visit your doctor. You can help with this process by keeping a record of symptoms and your blood glucose levels at the time. There is a chance that even if diabetes has not affected your sight yet, you may be starting the early stages of diabetic retinopathy.
- Start treatment early: You may not require treatment for diabetic retinopathy right away. Sometimes, patients require years of monitoring before they notice any symptoms—if they happen at all. Once there are symptoms, your doctor has many treatment options available. Focused laser treatment can reduce leakage from abnormal blood vessels and save your sight. Other treatments can slow or even reverse symptoms. However, these options may not be available to you if you wait too long and skip your annual eye exams. Even if you do not notice symptoms, that does not mean nothing threatens your eyesight.
- Secure vision assistance devices: Even if you do not require laser treatments, you may need new glasses or contacts to function every day. It is common for diabetes patients to change prescriptions every year. This does not go away with treatment. Patients may need new vision correction after laser treatments, as they can change your sight permanently or temporarily as your eyes heal. The only way to assure you receive a prescription that works for you is to stay current on annual eye exams.
- Encourage lifestyle changes: If diabetic retinopathy is not improving, you may have to consider other ways to control it. Sometimes, patients require additional efforts in controlling their diabetes, including weight loss, dietary restrictions and smoking cessation. If treatment for your eyes is not working, it is likely you need a whole-body approach. Often, the eye exam is the catalyst for needed changes.
- Maintain your sight: Annual eye exams are the primary tool in preventing blindness due to diabetes. Monitoring symptoms, starting treatment and maintaining vision prescriptions are all part of monitoring the progress of diabetes. Your eyes show symptoms first when it comes to this disease, and that is also true if it starts to get worse. An eye exam can be essential to assuring effective treatment.
Dr. Jill’s Optical Shoppe will help you stay on top of your annual eye exams in Oshkosh. Call us today to set up an appointment.