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Importance of Eye Exams for Diabetics | South Central Eye & Laser Center

Posted on August 26, 2020

Preventative Eye Exams are Important for Those Living with Diabetes

South Central Eye & Laser Center Provides Comprehensive Services

According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes and prediabetes cost Mississippians an estimated 3.5 billion dollars each year. With over 1 million individuals diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, Mississippians could face serious health complications including heart disease, stroke, amputation, blindness and death. South Central Eye & Laser Center is working to help educate diabetics on how to improve their quality of life and prevent blindness.

Sarah Queck, MD Ophthalmology South Central Eye & Laser Center

Sarah Queck, MD, Ophthalmologist at South Central Eye & Laser Center, discusses the effects diabetes plays on the body and eyes. “Diabetes affects the body’s ability to produce or use insulin effectively to control blood sugar levels. Too much glucose in the blood for a long time can cause damage in many parts of the body, including the small blood vessels in the eye. It is important to know that most issues can be prevented.”

Early detection and prevention of diabetic eye disease is key. Those with diabetes should receive annual eye exams even before they have signs or symptoms of vision loss. Studies show that 60 percent of diabetics are not getting the exams their doctors recommend.

  • Adults with Type 1 Diabetes – Dilated eye exam within 5 years of being diagnosed and every year after that.
  • Adults with Type 2 Diabetes – Dilated exam immediately after diabetes diagnosis. About 1 in 5 people with type 2 diabetes already have some eye problems when they are diagnosed with diabetes. It’s important to have an eye exam as soon as possible after diagnosis and continue annually.

“There are a variety of eye problems caused by diabetes,” said Dr. Queck. “These include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, cataracts and glaucoma.”

  • Diabetic retinopathy – damage causing swelling, leaking or closure of blood vessels in the retina. Abnormal new blood vessels can also grow on the surface of the retina that leak and bleed.
  • Diabetic macular edema – leaking blood vessels cause swelling in the retina leading to blurry vision. Diabetic macular edema can lead to permanent vision loss if not identified and treated.
  • Diabetes and cataracts – uncontrolled blood sugar can lead to early and severe cataract formation. Cataract surgery is required to remove the clouded cataracts that are the effects of diabetes. Maintaining good control of your blood sugar helps prevent or postpone permanent clouding of the lens and surgery.
  • Diabetes and glaucoma – Glaucoma is a group of diseases that cause damage to your eye’s optic nerve. This damage leads to irreversible loss of vision. Uncontrolled diabetes increases your chance of getting glaucoma.

Diabetes can cause your blood sugar levels to change quickly. “It can swell the lens of the eye, causing intermittent blurry vision. Your vision may go back to normal after your blood sugar stabilizes. It is important that your blood sugar is well controlled before getting your eyeglasses prescription checked. This ensures you receive the correct prescription,” said Dr. Queck.

From regular eye exams, to expert surgical interventions, South Central Eye & Laser Center will provide you with an accurate evaluation of your eyes. Our team takes your vision seriously and provides quality care for a variety of eye diseases and vision problems. Judith L. Bradley, MD, and Sarah Queck, MD, provide comprehensive ophthalmological care at South Central Eye & Laser Center.

Dr. Queck explains the services available locally. “Services range from treatment of acute eye injuries, diabetic eye exams to screen for diabetic retinopathy, cataract surgery with premium lens implants including the PanOptix Trifocal IOL, glaucoma management and laser surgery, macular degeneration, tear duct surgery, to glasses and contact lens fitting. We have a service available for all ophthalmology needs and see patients of all ages.”

To schedule an appointment at South Central Eye & Laser Center, call 601-426-9454. South Central Eye & Laser Center accepts Medicare, Medicaid and most commercial insurance plans. The facility is located at 1020 Adams Street in Laurel and is open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information, visit scrmc.com.