WHY DO DIABETICS HAVE TO HAVE YEARLY EYE EXAMS?

Whether type 1 or type 2, diabetes is a disease wherein the sugar that is transported in the blood vessels is not absorbed by the muscles in the body. That sugar is intended to provide energy to the muscles. Diabetics dislike it when there’s not enough sugar in their blood because they feel light-headed and weak, but their doctors dislike it when there’s too much sugar in their blood because this damages the blood vessels.

Blood vessels are designed to transport blood, which is quite watery. When diabetes stops muscles from absorbing sugar, the sugar stays in the blood, and the blood becomes more syrupy. The larger vessels (arteries) do not have many problems with this. The tiny capillaries, though, easily become clogged. When they clog, they can bleed (a hemorrhage) and distend (an aneurysm), in both cases disrupting the orderly supply of blood to a tissue.

Yearly dilated eye exams are crucial for 2 reasons: first, there are thousands of capillaries in the back of the eye, the retina. Because of this, diabetics commonly suffer from retinal bleeding, aneurysms, and worse. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in the United States among those aged 20 to 74.

Secondly, the retina is the only place in the human body where a physician can assess the state of the body’s blood vessels without invasive surgery. Therefore, an eye doctor can get crucial clues about the state of the capillaries throughout a diabetic’s body, and get an important headstart on any impending problems.

A yearly dilated eye exam is a relatively easy way for a diabetic to take care of themselves. Myoptic Optometry has physicians trained to spot the early signs of diabetes – let us take care of you.

– Dr. Oliver Kuhn-Wilken

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