How An Eye Specialist Can Detect Diabetes Before A Patient Knows About It

Posted on Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 by Dr. Thomas Marvelli

When visiting an eye specialist Fort Worth patients will find that they specialize in procedures such as LASIK surgery, cataract removal, treatment of eye diseases and/or glasses prescription. However, an interesting fact that many people do not realize is that eye doctors can also detect a wide range of common health problems even before a patient knows that he or she has the problem in question. Health problems that show up when a person has an eye exam include diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and even certain types of cancer.

How Eye Doctors Diagnose Diabetes

While there are many symptoms of diabetes, some people have fewer and/or less intense symptoms than others. However, one particularly common symptom is diabetic retinopathy. This condition is characterized by blood and/or other fluids seeping from small veins in the back of the eye. People who have this condition often have vision problems, but may not associate these problems with diabetes because the blood leakage is not visible to the naked eye. However, eye specialists use special tools to examine the eye and can see the loss of blood. When this happens, the specialist will recommend that a patient immediately get a diabetes test from his or her doctor.

Eye doctors also ask patients detailed questions about aspects of their health that may not seem immediately related to eye problems. These questions are important as they enable an eye doctor to be aware of not only the possibility of a person getting diabetes but also predispositions to other conditions that could affect one’s eyesight.

The cataract surgeons, regular eye doctors and even LASIK doctors DFW patients visit regularly can all tell if a person has diabetes even before the individual in question suspects that he or she may have this condition. Those who visit an eye doctor for a routine checkup and leave with a recommendation to get a diabetes exam should take such a recommendation very seriously. Failure to diagnose diabetes early can result in a plethora of health problems, one of which includes irreversible blindness.

Diabetes and Eye Care

Thankfully, diabetes does not mean that a person will automatically go blind. There are treatments available that can stop diabetes-related eye problems from worsening, thus enabling a person to live a healthy, normal life. These treatment options include control of blood sugar levels via diet and medication, laser surgery and, in serious cases a vitrectomy.

Getting a yearly eye exam is important, as it enables a person to detect eye problems before they become serious and get treatment to correct such problems and/or stop them from worsening. However, those who may be genetically prone to diabetes should be especially careful in regard to their eyesight, getting regular checkups and informing their ophthalmologist if they feel that their eyesight may be worsening for some reason. While an eye doctor cannot offer the same type of care as a regular physician, he or she can often detect diabetic retinopathy before a person knows that he or she has diabetes and warn a patient to seek urgent medical treatment to deal with this condition.

Dr. Marvelli has worked with many diabetic patients over the years to improve the condition of their eyesight, and we at the Marvel Eye Center encourage you to stay aware of your general health and the impact it can have on your eyes. Schedule your next exam today! Call us at 817-346-7333.

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