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Diabetic Eye Exams in Langley

Diabetes can affect several areas of your body, including your eyes. The chronic spike in blood sugar levels associated with diabetes can cause various eye problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, blurry vision and diabetic retinopathy. The latter denotes a severe condition where diabetes damages the blood vessels in your retina. 

The good news is that timely identification and prompt action can prevent the onset and spread of these eye conditions. At Langley Optometry Clinic, we provide diabetic eye exams in Langley. Our optometrists can help you monitor and protect your vision and preserve your eye health through careful assessment. 

Adding regular eye exams to your normal health care routine, managing your blood sugar level, and leading an active lifestyle can help you prevent eye disorders. If you'd like to schedule a diabetic eye exam in Langley, please fill out our form, and we'll get back to you shortly.

Potential Complications from Diabetes

At our clinic, we believe that having access to information can help you make informed decisions regarding your health. The effects of diabetes can put you at an increased risk of certain ocular conditions that are mostly avoidable. Some of these include:

  • Diabetic retinopathy: This ailment results from damage to the blood vessels connected to your retina; the damage results in retinal swelling, blood leakage and lack of oxygen inside the eye. More severe complications include neovascularization, which leads to weak blood vessels. When conducting your routine eye exams, we can detect early signs of this condition, even before you notice symptoms like spots in your vision. Early detection and early intervention are the cornerstones for reversing diabetic retinopathy. 

  • Diabetic macular edema: Diabetic macular edema (DME) is a consequence of diabetic retinopathy. It denotes a condition where fluid builds up inside the macula, a part of the retina. The fluid causes the macula to swell, damaging blood vessels. Some common symptoms associated with DME are blurry vision and washed-out eyes. Often the occurrence of DME only in one eye causes it to go unnoticed without routine eye exams. 

  • Cataracts: Cataracts are the appearance of the protein deposits on the surface of the lens. The protein formation on the lens's surface makes them cloudy and discoloured. While cataracts occur gradually after 40, having diabetes can accelerate the process. If not identified and treated, it can lead to vision loss. 

  • Glaucoma: The failure of the fluid in the eyes to drain effectively puts pressure on the eyes and stress on the ocular nerve. Neglecting this condition will lead to eventual vision loss. Diabetes puts individuals at risk for a specific type of glaucoma called neovascular glaucoma. This condition refers to the growth of new blood vessels in the iris, preventing fluid drainage. Eye exams are crucial to detecting this glaucoma because it generally doesn't have any noticeable symptoms. 

If you'd like to learn more about the ocular complications associated with diabetes, we invite you to reach out to our team. Certain circumstances, such as pregnancy, can put you at an added risk for these complications. We strongly encourage diabetic pregnant women to schedule an eye exam with us.

The Need for Regular Eye Exams

There are numerous eye-related complications associated with diabetes. The early identification of ocular abnormalities is the only way to avoid the long-term consequences of eye diseases. Those with type 1 diabetes need to have an eye exam within the first five years since the diagnosis. If you were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, we recommend having an eye exam right after the diagnosis. This urgency is because type 2 diabetes often goes unidentified for a long time, allowing potential eye diseases to develop. In these scenarios, eye diseases like DME are causes of concern because symptoms are not noticeable to laypeople. 

After the first exam, we will recommend you visit us annually. Those with conditions such as retinopathy might have to come to us more than once a year. Moreover, being pregnant increases the likelihood of diabetic retinopathy. For this reason, we recommend diabetic pregnant women schedule an appointment with us within the first three months of pregnancy and one year after postpartum. 

If you'd like to schedule a diabetic eye exam in Langley, please don't hesitate to speak to us.

What to Expect When Going for a Diabetic Eye Exam

The thought of a diabetic eye exam can seem daunting. However, these exams are similar to regular eye exams. The only difference is that during our diabetic eye exams in Langley, we will pay special attention to your retina and the blood vessels. Some standard practices you can expect are:

  • Pupil dilation: Pupil dilation gives us a crystal clear and complete view of your pupil and its structures. We do this by putting an eye drop into your lower eyelids.
  • Fluorescein angiography: When conducting fluorescein angiography, we inject a dye into your arm, which travels to your eyes to indicate damages to the blood vessel in your eyes, if any. 
  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT): This procedure gives us a close look at your retina and all the minute structures within it so that we can detect any leakage or thickening of blood vessels. 
  • Glaucoma test: Testing for glaucoma is essential because glaucoma doesn't display any symptoms until permanent vision loss. A tonometer lets out a puff of air to test the intraocular pressure.
  • Vision test: A vision test to gauge your vision clarity is essential for an eye test. You will be asked to look at a distant eye chart to identify small and large letters and shapes.

We can even provide you with corrective eyewear products, including contact lenses and eyeglasses, should you require them. Get in touch with us today to seek timely help.

Symptoms to Lookout For

Diabetes can cause many eye problems with different symptoms. In many cases, such as glaucoma, the symptoms might not be apparent. We recommend scheduling an eye appointment with us immediately if you notice any of these signs:

  • Wavy vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Frequent changes in vision
  • Bad colour vision
  • Black spots or floaters in the vision
  • Vision loss
  • Light flashes
  • Headaches
  • Eye pain

Schedule Your Eye Exam with an Optometrist in Langley Today

At Langley Optometry Clinic, we are always available to listen to your concerns. You can learn more about your eyes and how to take care of them through our carefully-compiled resources.

Protect Your Eyes

Our diabetic eye exams in Langley can help you take early action to protect your eyes.

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