Diabetes affects the lives of nearly 30 million Americans and up to 8 million have yet to be diagnosed. November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. There are well-known complications that come with diabetes such as heart disease, nerve damage and stroke, but diabetics are also at a high risk of severe vision loss and blindness. The most common diabetic eye disease is diabetic retinopathy, and diabetics are also more likely to suffer from glaucoma or develop cataracts.
Annual comprehensive dilated eye exams with one of our eye doctors in Loveland can prevent or prolong vision loss from uncontrolled diabetes.
It’s important to have regular eye exams for several reasons including:
1. You won’t notice symptoms of diabetic eye disease until it’s too late. Diabetic retinopathy typically doesn’t exhibit symptoms until it has progressed and caused severe—sometimes, permanent—damage to the tiny blood vessels in your retina.
2. Early detection can save your vision. Because diabetic retinopathy displays few symptoms at first, it’s vital to have regular eye exams (especially if you’re pregnant) to look for warning signs in your retina and nerve tissue.
3. Timely treatment lowers your risk of blindness up to 95 percent. Treatment for diabetic retinopathy can include injected medication, vitrectomy (the surgical removal of vitreous gel from the eye) and laser retina treatment.
Our board-certified ophthalmologist, Dr. Kirk, or our optometrist, Dr. Colvin, will search for these issues during your eye exam:
- Blood vessel changes
- Bleeding or leaking blood vessels
- Macula swelling (macular edema)
- Changes to your natural eye lens
- Nerve tissue damage
If you or a loved one is diabetic, please call Kirk Eye Center in Loveland today at 970-669-1107 to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. Our eye doctors serve patients in Loveland, Longmont, Windsor and Fort Collins, Colorado.