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I’m Diabetic — How Often Should I See the Optometrist?

Whether you have Type 1 or 2 diabetes, or gestational diabetes that manifests during pregnancy, you’re at risk for vision loss and other conditions. Getting regular eye exams with an optometrist can help lower your risk and keep your eyes healthy for years to come.

At Paragon Eye Associates in Arlington and Mansfield, Texas, we have optometrists, doctors who specialize in vision problems and correction, and ophthalmologists, doctors who treat medical conditions of the eye. So, no matter what level of eye care you need, we can help you.

How diabetes affects eyesight

If your diabetes is uncontrolled, the buildup of glucose can damage or block blood vessels in the retinas of your eyes. This can lead to partial vision loss or blindness from a serious condition called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetics can also develop cataracts or glaucoma.

How an optometrist can help

Our optometrists evaluate your vision with screening tests, including a test that dilates your pupils so they can look into your eye. This is the best way to find out if there’s any damage. They can also prescribe glasses or contact lenses as needed to correct your vision.

How often should I see the optometrist if I have diabetes?

The American Diabetes Association says people with Type 1 diabetes should have their first eye exam within five years of being diagnosed. Those with Type 2 diabetes are encouraged to have an exam right away. This is because Type 2 diabetics may have had diabetes for a while without knowing it, and their eyesight could already be affected.

These baseline eye exams are essential so we have something to compare your eye health to going forward. After these initial exams, you should come in yearly to see one of our optometrists. Each person is different, and our doctors can let you know if you should come in more often based on your health history and test results.

What you can do

To keep your eyesight from getting worse, keep your blood sugar under control, eat healthily, and get regular exercise. Take all of your medications as prescribed, lower your blood pressure if it’s too high, and don’t smoke. Also, be sure to come in for your eye exams so we can catch problems early.

Contact us if you notice any of these symptoms:

If you have diabetes, maintain your eye health by keeping up with regular exams with one of our experienced optometrists at Paragon Eye Associates in Arlington and Mansfield, Texas. Call us at 817-631-9824 to make an appointment today.

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