How Often Should You Get a Diabetic Eye Exam if You Have Diabetes?

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Everyone should get their eyes assessed to maintain good health. But if you have diabetes, regular exams become even more important. Diabetes increases your risk of developing conditions like diabetic retinopathy, which leads to vision loss if not caught and treated early. So, how often should you get your eyes checked?

The answer depends on several factors. However, Dr. Young Choi usually recommends an annual exam if your diabetes is well controlled. Call inVision Ophthalmology Tuscaloosa to book an appointment and learn more about diabetic retinopathy. We help patients in Tuscaloosa, AL prioritize their eye health.

How does diabetes impact your eye health?

When you have diabetes, your body has trouble producing or using insulin. Insulin helps regulate blood sugar, and when this function is out of control, it can cause damage to various areas of the body, including the small blood vessels in the eyes. Without proper treatment, this damage can only worsen over time and lead to vision loss.

Can Dr. Choi detect diabetic retinopathy during an eye exam?

Yes, Dr. Choi can detect diabetic retinopathy during a comprehensive eye exam. By dilating your pupils and examining the back of your eye with specialized equipment, we can look for any signs of damage to the blood vessels or changes in the retina. Other tests may also be performed depending on your individual case. If we see any abnormalities, we then develop a plan to manage your condition.

How often should you get your eyes checked if you have diabetes?

As mentioned earlier, the frequency of eye exams for people with diabetes depends on different factors. These include how long they've had diabetes and how well their blood sugar levels are managed. For most people with well-controlled diabetes, Dr. Choi recommends annual eye examinations. If you have a history of poor blood sugar control or other risk factors, we may book more frequent appointments in Tuscaloosa, AL.

What signs of diabetic retinopathy should you watch out for?

One of the most challenging aspects of diabetic retinopathy is that it presents no symptoms in the early stages. That's why eye exams are crucial for early detection and treatment. As the disease progresses, you may experience symptoms such as:

  • Dark or empty spots in your field of vision
  • Difficulty seeing colors clearly
  • Impaired night vision
  • Floaters (spots or strings that drift in your vision)
  • Sudden vision loss

If you present any of these symptoms, don't wait until your next eye exam. Contact inVision Ophthalmology Tuscaloosa right away for an evaluation.

How can you prevent diabetic retinopathy?

While there's no way to prevent diabetic retinopathy, you can take steps to lower your risk. This includes controlling your blood sugar levels through a well-balanced diet, exercise, and medication management. You should also quit smoking and maintain good blood pressure, as these factors can worsen the complications associated with diabetes.

Get your eyes examined

Eye exams are essential for managing diabetes and preserving vision. Don't wait until it's too late to book an appointment with Dr. Young Choi at inVision Ophthalmology Tuscaloosa. With regular check-ups and proper management, you can reduce your risk of serious issues. Call our office in Tuscaloosa, AL, and take control of your eye health today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.