Diabetes is becoming one of our most important health care issues, affecting over 2 million Canadians. If left untreated, diabetes can result in a number of complications, including heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, and eye disease.
Regular eye exams are crucial for individuals of all ages. Those with diabetes or at risk for diabetes are of special concern, as earliest signs of eye problems often occur without warning. Diabetic retinopathy is actually the leading cause of blindness in adults 20-74 years of age. If you are over 40 years of age, you should be tested for Type 2 diabetes at least every 3 years, according to the Canadian Diabetes Association. Additional risk factors include being overweight, having a family history of diabetes, having high blood pressure or high cholesterol, or having had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy).
The latest technology to help in the early detection of diabetic retinopathy and other types of eye disease is the optomap® Retinal Exam. Your doctors at Mountain View Optometry recommend this test every one to two years depending on your age and risk factors, as it provides them with clinically useful information about the health of the retina (inside the back of the eye). The optomap® also provides the ability to monitor changes in the retina and compare images over time, a valuable tool when monitoring patients with diabetes related eye conditions such as diabetic retinopathy.