A man in his mid-40s came into our clinic wanting to get new glasses. He felt that his vision was changing quickly and he attributed this to “being over 40”. Upon checking his spectacle prescription, I confirmed that there was indeed a dramatic change. As we do with every eye examination, I also evaluated his ocular health. At the back of the eye was leaking fluid and bleeding, I suspected this may be signs of diabetes. A referral was made to his family doctor for a fasting blood sugar test and a diagnosis of diabetes was confirmed. The large change in his spectacle prescription was due to his high blood sugars and once he started medical treatment to lower and control his blood sugar level, the spectacle prescription stabilized and the retinal bleeding stopped.
This is all too common of a case we see at our clinic. It is estimated that close to 2 million Canadian adults have diabetes, and from this approximately one third of these people are unaware they have the disease. Diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of blindness in the working-age population. Diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels in the retina, the light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. Rapid changes in blood sugar levels can also cause sugar to leak into the lens of the eye, causing swelling and blurred vision. Early eye damage can occur without pain, redness or blurred vision. Therefore, people with diabetes need to have their eyes examined regularly to ensure changes are detected early. When caught early, eye disease can be treated with medications or laser surgery to prevent further permanent damage. If left untreated, the disease can lead to blindness.
At iSight Optometry, every eye examination includes a screening for diabetic eye disease. We work closely with your family physician to monitor and maintain good ocular health. We also work with the local ophthalmologists, providing timely referrals when further treatment is needed. With our retinal imaging system, Optos, we can immediately review the images with you, show you exactly what we see and use those images for comparison in future routine exams.
We truly believe in preventative care and work to keep you seeing well for years to come. A referral is not needed to have your diabetic ocular health examination at our clinic. To book your appointment call 250-860-2020.