Diabetes is a growing health crisis in North America as an estimated 29 million Americans and 3.4 million Canadians are currently living with the disease. Chances are it affects you or someone you know. November has been dedicated as a time to spread awareness about the disease, its risk factors and the effects it has on your body, your daily life and the lives of your loved ones.
Minor changes in glucose levels could result in complications such as blurred or double vision, floaters or even visual field loss. These conditions are usually quite treatable. Diabetics are also at greater risk for developing eye diseases such as glaucoma (40% increase risk) and cataracts (60% increased risk). With early detection, both of these conditions can be treated and the majority of vision restored.
Diabetic eye disease often has NO noticeable symptoms or pain, so comprehensive eye exams that include dilating the pupils are essential to detect signs of diabetes. Online vision assessments will not detect diabetic eye disease.
The condition that is the most concerning risk of diabetes is called diabetic retinopathy which can lead to blindness if not diagnosed and treated.
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the tiny blood vessels or capillaries in the back of the eye develop weakened vessel walls. If not treated, the vessels leak fluid and become blocked. This can progress to hemorrhages in the retina, and over time the eye does not receive enough oxygen and nutrients. As a result, new fine blood vessels start to grow. These proliferating vessels leak and can cause further bleeding, scarring and potentially lead to blindness. A special zone in the central retina called the macula is especially susceptible to diabetes. Diabetic macular edema (when fluid seeps into the macula) can cause permanent vision loss if not promptly detected.
There are treatments for stopping the progression of the disease such as laser therapy or intraocular injections, although once damage to vision has occurred, it is often permanent. This is why the condition must be diagnosed and treated early on.
All diabetics should have a regular comprehensive eye exam to catch any early signs of diabetic retinopathy or other vision threatening conditions. Because risk factors vary, speak to your eye doctor about how often you should have an exam. Risk factors for diabetic retinopathy include:
Although blindness from diabetes is preventable it is still a leading cause of blindness among working-age adults. If you or someone you know has the disease, make sure that proper eye care is a priority.
Diabetes is a growing health crisis in North America as an estimated 29 million Americans and 3.4 million Canadians are currently living with the disease. Chances are it affects you or someone you know.
On May 4th Nuvue Optometry will begin to re-open and provide essential eye care services. We will be providing a limited number of comprehensive examinations for patients who need a prescription and for eye health concerns (macular degeneration, cataract, glaucoma, etc.). Your safety is of the upmost importance and we are completely changing how we deliver optometric care to minimize physical contact.
The following procedures will be effect.
Routine examinations could still be postponded at this time. We request that if any patient feels ill, they should stay home. Initially, the office will be open Monday through Thursday from 10am to 3pm.
Drs. Brad & Devin Almond and the caring staff of Nuvue Optometry
We understand this may be a burden for you, however the health and safety of everyone is paramount to move forward.
Thank you for supporting our local business during this difficult time. Local businesses in Kelowna need you now more than ever. Thank you for being patient, and for continuing to choose Nuvue Optometry for your eye care.
Drs Brad and Devin Almond and the caring staff of Nuvue Optometry