Diabetes is becoming more common in America and around the world. While optometrists do not treat diabetes, we do diagnose, manage, and treat many visual symptoms and effects of diabetes. It can affect the eye in multiple ways. It can change blood sugar levels, which blurs vision by changing vision prescriptions. More severe diabetes can also cause swelling and bleeding in the eye that may blur vision in ways uncorrectable by glasses. The most severe diabetes can cause significant damage to the eye as well. Optometrists help patients with diabetes is manage their visual symptoms as well as eye health. We adjust patients’ glasses and contacts prescriptions as their vision changes to give them the best vision possible. We also monitor for and diagnose changes to the eyes to make sure eyes stay healthy and diabetes is well controlled. Diabetic eye exams should be performed with a dilation at least once a year. They are important not only for glasses or contact lens prescriptions, but also to make sure eye health is not affected by diabetes. The eye is commonly one of the first places where uncontrolled diabetes shows itself. If any eye abnormalities are found, a patient’s diabetes doctor can be alerted to treat the diabetes more aggressively. This will not only save the patient’s eyesight, but also the rest of their body from the effects of diabetes.

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