Get Your Diabetic Retinal Examination at Optiko!
Optiko is a trusted provider of eye care services for people with diabetes in Calgary. Our team of expert optometrists and friendly staff are dedicated to providing you with the most thorough and professional service possible. We want to make you feel like you’re in good hands and that’s why we’ve made it our mission to detect and prevent diabetic eye disease in Calgary’s diabetic population.
The Optiko team cares about your eye health. That’s why our skilled optometrists are trained to look for signs of diabetic retinopathy early on – and they’re here to help you mitigate any signs of eye disease before it gets worse. That way, you can receive proper treatment sooner than later, so you can keep your eyes healthy and prevent further damage.
Your Diabetic Retinal Examination: What to Expect
At Optiko, our diabetic retinal exams are thorough and extensive and we take the time to look closely at the health of your retina. A comprehensive dilated eye exam is essential to detecting diabetic retinopathy and other diabetes-related eye complications.
When you come in to get your exam, we will test your visual acuity and check your intraocular pressure. For retinal imaging, we will also dilate your pupils to get the clearest image possible of the back of your eye.
We can screen for, diagnose, and manage diabetic retinopathy. When we examine you, our optometrists look out for early signs of disease such as leaking blood vessels, macular edema, pale fatty deposits on the retina, damaged nerve tissue, and other changes to your retinal blood vessels.
What a Diabetic Retinal Examination Can Do for You.
When you have diabetes, it is crucial to get regular diabetic eye exams with your optometrist. An optometrist can help you manage your vision by monitoring the health of your eyes and looking for signs of disease. They can help detect early signs of diabetic retinopathy and other eye conditions before they become serious problems as well as make recommendations in order to minimize the risk of developing diabetes-related complications with your eyes. By detecting and treating diabetic retinopathy early, the risk of blindness from the disease can be reduced by 95%.
In sum, regular comprehensive eye exams are essential for early detection of the signs of eye disease so that treatment can be provided as quickly as possible and your vision is preserved.
Diabetes and Vision Loss
In Canada, approximately 11 million people – or 29% of Canadians – are either diabetic or pre-diabetic. It is a condition that prevents the body from using insulin properly, leading to uncontrolled high blood sugar levels and a variety of other serious complications. If left unmanaged, it can lead to a slew of vision problems, including vision loss. In fact, diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in adults. People with diabetes are also more prone to developing cataracts and glaucoma at a younger age than their counterparts.
Some of the most common symptoms of diabetic eye disease include blurred or distorted vision, frequently changing vision (different day to day), dark spots in vision or vision loss, poor colour vision, and visual floaters and/or flashes.
Common Diabetic Eye Diseases
Diabetic retinopathy can take two forms, which progress in stages.
This condition occurs when the blood vessels that supply the retina weaken. When this occurs, the blood vessels can leak, rupture, or hemorrhage. As a result, the retina then begins to swell and vision becomes impaired.
As nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy progresses, the blood vessels supplying nourishment to the retina become blocked or closed, depriving the retina of oxygen and nutrients. As a result, parts of the retina eventually begin to die. New blood vessels begin to grow in the place of the deceased ones, however, these vessels are much more fragile. They are even more prone to leaking or hemorrhaging, which can lead to severe visual impairment or blindness.
Diabetic Macular Edema
Diabetic macular edema is an additional complication of diabetic retinopathy. The macula is the central area of the retina that allows us to see things clearly and in fine detail. The swelling of the retina seen in diabetic retinopathy can lead to the deterioration of the macula, causing blurred and impaired central vision.
Glaucoma is a condition where pressure builds up in your eyes, leading to loss of vision. Having diabetes increases one’s risk of developing glaucoma because both conditions are linked to high blood pressure, which can cause damage to your optic nerve.
A cataract is a cloudy or opaque spot in the lens of your eye that results in impaired and blurry vision. As you get older, cataracts are not uncommon and likely to develop. However, people with diabetes tend to develop cataracts at an earlier age than those who do not have the condition. Diabetes can cause cataracts in a few ways. First, the disease itself can cause the lens of the eye to swell, which makes it harder for light to pass through. Second, high blood sugar can lead to higher rates of protein building up in your lens, which also results in a cloudy appearance.