What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a common condition where the body is unable to maintain healthy blood levels of glucose (which is ‘sugar’). High levels of glucose can have negative short or long-term health effects.
Diabetes can affect your entire body so it’s not surprising that many diabetics experience vision changes during their lives. A major complication can be the damage that diabetes may cause to your eyes’ blood supply. That’s why it’s particularly important for diabetics to have regular eye examinations to monitor their eye health.
What is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetic Retinopathy is a direct result of damage to the blood supply of your eyes. This can result in blockages, blood leakage or localised swelling, which can all affect your vision.
Your local Laubman & Pank Optometrist will routinely screen your eyes for Diabetic Retinopathy. Our Optometrists recommend an Ultra-Wide Digital Retinal Scan of your eyes, however often even more detailed scans are required so we can look at the deeper layers of your retina.
When should diabetics see an optometrist?
All diabetics or pre-diabetic patients should have a full eye examination every 12 months.
However, if you experience any of these symptoms, please book an eye test as soon as possible with your local Laubman & Pank Optometrist. Symptoms vary from person to person but may include some of the following:
- Blurred vision.
- Blank or missing areas in your vision.
- Double vision.
- Difficulty seeing well at night.
- Problems with your balance.
- Increased sensitivity to glare.
Things to know about the test
It’s important that all diabetic patients receive a thorough eye examination. To do this, your local Laubman & Pank Optometrist will give you eye drops that will dilate your pupil. Dilating your eyes enables your optometrist to get high quality images of your eyes and examine them carefully.
Please note that due to the eye drops, you won’t be able to drive after your appointment for several hours.
We also recommend that you bring your sunglasses because your eyes will be more sensitive to light after the test. It would also be highly beneficial if you could bring the results of your most recent blood test and a list of the medications you are taking.
At Laubman & Pank we bulk bill diabetic eye examinations for Medicare cardholders*
Treating diabetic retinopathy
Managing your blood glucose levels well may help delay the onset of diabetic retinopathy. If retinopathy is detected your optometrist will refer you to an eye specialist who will formulate an individual treatment plan. As always your local Laubman & Pank optometrist will take the time to explain any treatment options with you thoroughly.
Want to know more about diabetic retinopathy?
If you have any questions at all or want to chat about protecting your eyes we’re always here to help. Please don’t hesitate to talk to your local Laubman & Pank Optometrist or any other friendly member of your local Laubman & Pank store team.
*Additional charges may apply